Nigerian Students still stranded as Turkey’s Evacuation Plane Shot At In Sudan

Renewed fighting convulsed Sudan and its battered capital Friday, and Turkey reported that one of its evacuation planes had been shot at, despite world leaders’ trumpeting the renewal of an already flagging cease-fire.


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In Sudan’s western Darfur region, ethnic fighting in one city between African and Arab armed groups erupted in a dark reminder of the brutal conflict that once racked the whole area, while French troops swooped across the border from Chad to evacuate U.N. staffers in another city.

Millions have been left stranded after fighting erupted between the military and the heavily armed paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on April 15. On Thursday night, a fifth cease-fire was announced, intended to last for three days, but like the others, it was immediately violated, with fighting in the capital and elsewhere even as world leaders welcomed the warring parties’ “readiness to engage in dialogue towards establishing a more durable cessation of hostilities and ensuring unimpeded humanitarian access.”

Flights from an airfield just north of Khartoum, however, could be in danger after Turkey announced early Friday that “light weapons were fired on our C-130 evacuation plane, which was going to Wadi Sayidna for the mission of evacuating our citizens who were stuck in Sudan, where the clashes continued.” No Turkish personnel were injured, and the plane landed “safely,” the message said, without specifying when the attack occurred. Images posted online showed at least one bullet hole in the plane.

The army and RSF blamed each other for the attack. The airfield is secured by foreign troops and has been used to evacuate citizens from more than 41 nations so far, including France, Germany and Britain.

The United Kingdom said Friday that it would end its evacuation flights from Khartoum on Saturday as demand for seats declined. The operation has evacuated more than 1,500 people — most of them British — since Tuesday.

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