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Iran sends plane to Saudi Arabia to transfer evacuees from Sudan

April 30, 2023 at 8:48 am

King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah [channelislam/Twitter]

Iran sent a plane Saturday to Saudi Arabia to transfer its nationals evacuated from Sudan amid ongoing clashes between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group, reports Anadolu Agency.

Saudi-funded Al-Arabiya television reported that Iran sent the plane to pick up the nationals who were brought to Jeddah from Sudan by a ship belonging to Saudi Arabia.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said earlier that 65 Iranian citizens were brought from Khartoum to Port Sudan, and later transferred to Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Port.

Kanaani thanked Saudi Arabia for its cooperation.

At least 528 people have been killed and more than 4,500 injured in fighting between two rival generals – Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the commander of the armed forces, and Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the head of the RSF – since April 15, according to Sudan’s Health Ministry.

READ: 40,000 refugees flee Sudan in search of safety

A disagreement had been fomenting in recent months between the army and the paramilitary force concerning the latter’s integration into the armed forces, a key condition of Sudan’s transition agreement with political groups.

Sudan has been without a functioning government since October 2021 when the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional government and declared a state of emergency in a move decried by political forces as a “coup.”

Sudan’s transitional period, which started in August 2019 after the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir, was scheduled to end with elections in early 2024.