The president of the Association of Sudanese Communities in Canada is asking the federal government to create a program to allow families to sponsor a loved one caught in the turmoil in Sudan or who has taken refuge in a neighboring country.

Ashraf al-Tahir says his organization has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly about it.

He says the Sudanese community in Canada is ready to pay for any costs that would be associated with this program. However, it must be put in place by the federal government.

Mr. AlTahir fears a genocide in Sudan like the one that hit Rwanda several years ago. He adds that Western governments must not abandon the people living in this African country.

On Friday evening, the Canadian government announced the dispatch of members of Global Affairs Canada’s permanent rapid deployment team to Djibouti due to the instability and rapidly deteriorating situation in Sudan.

Ms. Joly also indicated that the Canadian Embassy in Khartoum, capital of Sudan, has temporarily suspended its in-person activities. She said the rapid deployment team could provide emergency response, coordination, consular assistance and logistical support.

The government says the Department of National Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces are “planning for various contingencies,” but gives no further details.

On Thursday, Joly said Canada had no way to evacuate citizens from Sudan, where violence has escalated dramatically between the country’s military and its rival paramilitary force.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it has about 1,500 Canadians registered as being in Sudan.