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Two Canadian Military Evacuation Flights Grounded in Sudan Following Shooting on Runway

Amid the violence in Sudan, two Canadian military evacuation flights have been grounded. Gunfire on a runway near Khartoum stopped one of the flights from taking off and even though the runway has been reopened, it is unclear when the flight will be allowed to leave.

According to a new report citing sources, two Canadian military evacuation flights have been grounded in Sudan because one of them had a mechanical issue while the other is waiting for clearance after a Turkish evacuation plane was shot at. Sudan’s army has reportedly accused the Rapid Support Forces of opening fire on the Turkish aircraft as it landed at Wadi Seidna airport outside Khartoum.

According to sources, the runway has been opened but it is unclear when the flights will be cleared for take-off. It is also unclear if these flights will be allowed to leave first or sent to the back of the line. The situation has become more complicated since the Canadian military is already operating in a volatile situation in Sudan.

Neither of the two planes have taken off yet and is it unknown if they will be able to leave the country on Friday as scheduled.

Just yesterday, the first Canadian evacuation flight from Sudan took off and Defence Minister Anita Anand shared plans of more flights leaving in the coming days. There are about 1,800 Canadian citizens in Sudan and about 700 people have asked for the government’s help to leave the country.

The Canadian government has been criticized for not acting on time and not making a timely decision of pre-positioning military assets. Reportedly, Canadian officials were warned weeks ago that Sudan was descending into conflict. Furthermore, the Canadian Armed Forces had both military assets and contingency plans drawn up for a possible evacuation.

It’s been almost two weeks since the fighting broke out in Sudan. The Sudanese Army, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, led by Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan are fighting for power. People from different countries are trapped in Sudan and have asked their governments to help them evacuate.

Vineet Washington
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