International SOS continues to have 24/7 dedicated operational, medical & security staff working on the crisis response constantly evaluating options, arranging and coordinating evacuations, establishing additional in-country and port of arrival capabilities including accommodation, aviation and maritime onward solutions, iterating plans of action, and regularly updating clients.
In recent days our priority focus has been on evacuating clients at highest risk from Khartoum to Port Sudan via road as the ceasefire largely held outside the capital. Working with our logistics and security partners we coordinated two separate bus convoy movements with approximately 60 passengers across multiple clients from Khartoum to Port Sudan. We were able to accommodate evacuees in block-booked hotel accommodation in Port Sudan. Accommodation is extremely limited due to an influx of evacuees and we’re working to maximise availability for our clients and continue to explore additional options.
We also continue to support clients in Port Sudan and with onwards journeys from Sudan, including:
- Assistance with transportation and support during extremely long wait times for publicly available ferries.
- Facilitating maritime evacuation from Port Sudan to Egypt via private means.
- Engaged a doctor to support evacuees with medical needs.
- Deployed an International SOS team in Jeddah to assist arriving passengers with accommodation & transportation arrangements.
- Leveraged partner capability to support clients crossing through the Egyptian land border or arriving via ship in Safaga, Egypt.
- Actively working with our contacts to attempt to secure positions on Government movements.
We are anticipating a likely increase in fighting in coming days, particularly in Khartoum. This will exacerbate the already limited availability of critical supplies, including fuel, water and food. We are in constant communication with partners on the ground to understand their ability to manoeuvre in the city and their access to fuel supplies for longer movements and contingencies. We’ll continue to engage with clients still in Khartoum to understand their needs as movement is likely to be increasingly constrained.
Considering the latest developments our advice for clients with employees still in Khartoum, Sudan is:
- Once you have a confirmed evacuation method, depart from Sudan.
- If you don’t have a confirmed evacuation option and are unable to depart immediately, continue to stand fast in a secure location and liaise with your line manager to understand your organisation’s evacuation plans. Register with the relevant embassy to receive updates around their emergency and evacuation planning amid reports of ongoing evacuation efforts. While waiting for a confirmed evacuation method, take all necessary personal preparedness steps for the move. This includes preparing a means to arrive at evacuating assembly areas, obtaining necessary permits, making visa arrangements where possible, and preparing a grab bag equipped with essentials such as identification documentation, a torch (flashlight), a medical kit, water and high-energy food. Be prepared to move with little warning.
- If you are in Port Sudan and have an option to board a vessel (commercial ferry, or a government-chartered vessel), use that option to depart from Sudan after making all necessary visa, permit and any other relevant arrangements.
- If you hear gunfire, remain indoors and stay away from windows.
- Managers should make the necessary preparations to enable the evacuation of workforce as soon as a feasible option is available. Check that evacuees have up-to-date passports, feasible means to arrive at evacuation assembly areas and visas for likely safe havens, and that manifests are up-to-date and on-hand. Notify workforce of evacuation plans and necessary individual preparedness. Manage expectations as to the timeframe for any potential departure from the country. Evacuees should be on as little as two hours’ notice to move to take advantage of any viable evacuation options.
- Monitor International SOS Sudan alerts for updates and for more detailed advice.
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