Sudan’s Foreigners Flee, Leaving Nationals to Brave the Chaos Alone

Sudan’s Foreigners Flee, Leaving Nationals to Brave the Chaos Alone
Photo by Jeff Kingma via Unsplash


Talita Dielemans

Middle East and Human Rights Researcher 

Global Human Rights Defence

The conflict in Sudan between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary on April 15th deserted many people. As violence and political unrest continue to grip Sudan, foreign nationals are fleeing the country en masse, leaving behind their Sudanese counterparts to fend for themselves. 

The violence calmed enough over the weekend and the United States and the United Kingdom got embassy staff out, triggering a rush of evacuations of hundreds of foreign nationals by countries ranging from Gulf Arab states to Russia, Japan, and South Korea. [1]

With embassies and foreign companies evacuating their personnel due to safety concerns, Sudanese citizens are feeling abandoned and vulnerable. Many are struggling to obtain basic necessities like food and medicine, as the country's infrastructure continues to crumble.

The handling of this situation highlights the stark inequality between the treatment of foreigners and nationals during times of crisis. While foreign governments are quick to act to protect their citizens, the same cannot be said for the Sudanese government, which appears to be neglecting the needs of its own people.

The situation in Sudan is complex, and there are no easy solutions. However, more needs to be done to protect the rights and well-being of all Sudanese citizens, regardless of their nationality or socio-economic status. Thousands of Sudanese have fled the fighting in Khartoum and elsewhere, but millions are sheltering in their homes amid explosions, gunfire, and looting without adequate electricity, food, or water. [2]

Sources and further reading:

[1] Al jazeera ‘Foreigners evacuated as factions battle in Sudan’s Khartoum’ (23 April 2023) <> accessed 25 April 2023.

[2] Al jazeera ‘Sudan factions agree to 72-hour ceasefire as foreigners evacuated’ (24 April 2023) <> accessed 25 April 2023.