Japan prepares to evacuate citizens from Sudan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s defense ministry has started preparations to evacuate its citizens from Sudan amid deadly fighting, a senior government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Japan’s foreign minister asked the defense minister to use the Self-Defense Forces plane for the evacuation, said Chief Cabinet Officer Hirokazu Matsuno.

“The government will continue to do its utmost to ensure the safety of Japanese residents of Japan, including the security and evacuation of Japanese nationals, in close cooperation with the G7 and other key countries,” Matsuno said.

About 60 Japanese nationals were in Sudan on Wednesday, Matsuno told reporters, adding the government can contact them all and none of them were injured.

Heavy gunfire shattered a 24-hour ceasefire in Sudan on Tuesday.

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Fighting between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has killed at least 185 people and wounded more than 1,800, UN envoy Volker Perthes said amid airstrikes and fighting in Khartoum and unrest across Sudan.

(Reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Sonali Paul)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

Brian Ashcraft

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