Canada has conducted its first two evacuation flights to evacuate Canadians and other foreign nationals from Sudan.
At an event in Nova Scotia on Thursday, Defense Minister Anita Anand announced the first flight but provided few details. Senior officials from Canada’s Department of National Defense and Global Affairs confirmed at a technical briefing later in Ottawa that the second flight had left Khartoum.
The first evacuation flight had 45 people on board; The second captured 73 residents of the war-torn country. Officials could not say how many Canadian evacuees were on the flights.
As many as 1,800 Canadians are stranded in Sudan and about 700 have asked the federal government to help them get out, Global Affairs Canada said on Wednesday.
Officials said Thursday that after contacting virtually everyone on that list, they narrowed down the potential number of evacuees because some chose to stay. About 108 people said they absolutely want to leave the country and another 130 are considering doing so.
Anand said a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CC-130 Hercules aircraft carried out the operation.
evacuation flights to Djibouti. From there, Global Affairs Canada will arrange transportation for the people to Kenya, where they will be responsible for their travel, the officials said.
He’s watching | A minister announces the first Canadian evacuation flight from Sudan
“This is very good news, and I thank the Canadian Armed Forces personnel for working so hard to make this happen,” Anand said.
On Wednesday, the government announced it would deploy up to 200 Canadian Armed Forces soldiers to assist with the evacuation. A senior defense official said Thursday that figure does not include Air Force and Navy personnel assigned to the evacuation effort.