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Tanzania Commended for Helping Africans Out of Sudan

Several countries continue to evacuate their citizens amid an untenable ceasefire agreement.

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Dar es Salaam. Several people on Tuesday praised Tanzania for its decision to help African nationals stranded in Sudan find a way out from the crisis-ridden North African nation.

It follows a report by the BBC which featured the experience of a Sierra Leonean man who said he was “really grateful” for the efforts the Tanzanian embassy made to evacuate students of all nationalities from Sudan. 

Sidikie Fofana, who was studying for a master’s degree in finance and banking in Khartoum, told the BBC that Tanzania gathered students of different nationalities onto a convoy with five buses that were about to leave Khartoum.

In a voice note sent to Fofana, Tanzania’s ambassador to Sudan, Silima Kombo Haji, said his country was trying to help other African citizens, not just Tanzanians, the BBC reported.

“Well done to the government of Tanzania and President Samia Suluhu Hassan,” Rashid Abdi, an analyst of the Horn of Africa’s affairs, said in a Twitter post. “Exemplary evacuation. That is real Pan-Africanism.”

Leader of opposition ACT-Wazalendo party Zitto Kabwe applauded the government’s action, writing on Twitter that that is Tanzania its people used to know.

“Thank you very much to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for this respect you have given us,” Mr Kabwe added. “We have started to be proud of being Tanzanians instead of tolerating.”

In its earlier statement condemning the violence in Sudan, Tanzania called on Sudanese authorities to “ensure the safety of all people, not only the Sudanese but also all the foreigners in Sudan.”

READ MORE: Tanzania ‘Deeply Concerned’ With Security Situation in Sudan

Tanzania said that it was “deeply concerned” with the “deteriorating” security situation in Sudan, “condemning in the strongest terms the ongoing armed conflict” in the country.

Tanzania is among many world nations evacuating their people from Sudan since the violence engulfed Africa’s third-largest country.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Dr Stergomena Tax said on Tuesday that about 200 Tanzanian nationals, including diplomats, students, and citizens, had been evacuated from Sudan.

The evacuation was safely done by road transport to the nearest border of Ethiopia before being set to be transported back home by national carrier Air Tanzania.

Dr Tax said the government used the three-day cease-fire window from April 21 to April 23, 2023, to evacuate all its citizens.

At least 459 people have died in the conflict in Sudan so far, though the actual number is thought to be much higher. 

Clashes between the military and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) came following days of tensions about a proposal to integrate the RSF into the military as part of a transition to civilian rule.

On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the 72-hour truce had been agreed between the army and the RSF after 48 hours of negotiations. The latest ceasefire attempt started at midnight (22:00 GMT on Monday).

“Following intense negotiations, the SAF and RSF have agreed to implement and uphold a 72-hour nationwide ceasefire starting midnight, April 24,” Mr Blinken announced on Twitter. “We welcome their commitment to work with partners and stakeholders for permanent cessation of hostilities and humanitarian arrangements.”

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the violence gripping Sudan for over a week “risks a catastrophic conflagration within Sudan that could engulf the whole region and beyond.”

Addressing the 15 members of the UN Security Council on Monday, Guterres urged them to use their influence to stop the violence and restore the country to its democratic path.

“We must all do everything within our power to pull Sudan back from the edge of the abyss,” Mr Guterres said. “We stand with them at this terrible time.”

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