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First images from Sudan evacuation emerge, as US pulls out all diplomatic staff

The U.S. government has released photos of military operations in Sudan evacuating citizens and government employees trapped amidst the country's ongoing civil conflict.

Images of the U.S. evacuation of Sudan have emerged, capturing the urgency of the operation as countries attempt to rescue citizens trapped in the war-torn nation.

Under the direction of President Biden, the military has undertaken a series of operations to secure and rescue U.S. citizens and government employees currently trapped in Sudan.

United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), which has overseen the U.S. withdrawal, told Fox News, "All diplomatic staff have been evacuated from the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum using rotary aircraft [and have been] returned via Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti."

Photos captured the arrival of U.S. Ambassador for the Republic of Sudan John Godfrey to Camp Lemonnier in neighboring Djibouti.

"At Lemounier, they also have access to fixed wing operations (runway for planes co-shared with other military and commercial activity in Djibouti)," AFRICOM continued. "Other U.S. citizens were transported over land to Port Sudan with onward departure from there with U.S. military overwatch."

PRESIDENT BIDEN CALLS CIVIL WAR IN SUDAN 'UNCONSCIONABLE' AS US EMBASSY PERSONNEL EVACUATE

Fierce urban fighting has nearly crippled Khartoum, a city of about 6 million people. So far, over 420 people have died and more than 3,700 people have been injured since the conflict broke out, according to the World Health Organization.

"While the figure of 16,000 U.S. citizens have been used regarding those in Sudan, the vast majority of those are dual-nationals and have not expressed an interest in leaving," AFRICOM told Fox News.

"The number of U.S. citizens remaining in Sudan who have expressed a desire to leave is in the 'dozens' and the US has been in touch with them," the command concluded. "U.S. military is moving more assets to the area including ships to accommodate all circumstances."

AMERICAN WOMAN, DAUGHTER CAUGHT IN MIDDLE OF SUDAN FIGHTING AS FAMILY CALLS FOR HELP TO BRING THEM HOME

Clashes broke out in Khartoum on April 15 between the Sudanese armed forces led by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, widely known as "Hemedti," leader of the paramilitary force known as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). 

The RSF grew out of the pro-government Arab militia, known as the Janjaweed, that committed mass atrocities and human rights violations in the Darfur region of Sudan in the early 2000s.

The two had been in an uneasy alliance since the 2019 overthrow of Sudan’s longtime dictator, Omar al-Bashir, who ruled the country since 1989. 

Together, the generals ruled the country with civilian groups that were influential in the mass protest movement that helped topple Bashir. Following the removal of Bashir, it looked as if Burhan and Hemedti would commit to a civilian-led government in Khartoum.

Burhan, backed by his deputy Hemedti, staged a coup and dissolved the civilian-military power-sharing government in October 2021, ending the transition to civilian democratic rule.

The recent tensions center on the timetable and process by which Hemedti’s RSF would be integrated into the regular Sudanese armed forces as part of a deal to end the political deadlock brought about by the coup in 2021. 

Burhan wanted a two-year timeframe for integrating the RSF while Hemedti wanted a 10-year timeline. The command structure of the armed forces was another point of contention. The ultimate goal was to have a unified military, with Hemedti falling under the command of Burhan.

Fox News' Chris Massaro contributed to this report.

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