The British government has launched its mission to evacuate diplomatic staff from Sudan using RAF Akrotiri in Limassol as a base, the UK’s Ministry of Defence has confirmed.
In a statement from the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, the ministry said that the operation involved more than 1,200 service personnel from the 16th Air Assault Brigade, the Royal Marines and the RAF.
“The operation involved more than 1200 British personnel from 16 Air Assault Brigade, the Royal Marines and the RAF. I am grateful to all our partners including Cyprus,” Wallace said in a tweet.
“A significant escalation in violence and threats to embassy staff” was cited as the reason for the evacuation.
In a statement, the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, described it as “a complex and rapid evacuation” and praised “the commitment of our diplomats and bravery of the military personnel who carried out this difficult operation.”
Sunak said “We are continuing to pursue every avenue to end the bloodshed in Sudan and ensure the safety of British nationals remaining in the country. I urge the parties to lay down their arms and implement an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to ensure civilians can leave conflict zones.”
( Source in Cyprus)