(Ottawa) Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly will spend the next few days in Kenya, East Africa, to orchestrate Canada’s response to the crisis in Sudan.

In particular, the minister must meet there people who have been evacuated from the country plunged into fighting for 16 days, as well as diplomatic personnel who worked there until the start of the clashes.

Ms. Joly is also expected to speak with humanitarian groups to better understand the needs of people in Sudan, as well as those who have fled to neighboring countries, during this time of crisis.

She also plans to meet former Sudanese prime minister Abdalla Hamdok, the country’s only civilian leader in decades, who was overthrown in a 2021 coup.

Kenya has played a leading role in the search for a solution to the conflict in Sudan and is home to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, a group focused on peace and prosperity in East African countries.

According to her office, Minister Joly hopes to learn more about Kenya’s role as a major player on the African continent.

“Kenya has played a key leadership role throughout this crisis — responding to the humanitarian needs generated by the conflict in Sudan and helping to lead efforts towards a peaceful solution,” Ms. Joly said in an email sent Saturday. at The Canadian Press.

“Canada is here to help Kenya and regional actors address this crisis. We will take concrete steps to support regional actors in their mediation efforts and to meet humanitarian needs. »

The Sudanese armed forces and paramilitary groups were originally supposed to merge, but talks broke down last month and created an all-out conflict that has claimed hundreds of civilian lives in the past two weeks.

The Canadian Embassy in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, was moved to Nairobi, Kenya when fighting broke out.

According to Ms. Joly’s office, the minister’s trip is similar to her visit to Poland shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine.

On Saturday evening, the Government of Canada also announced the end of its air evacuations of citizens and residents stranded in Sudan.

“Government of Canada evacuation flights have ended. Avoid traveling to Wadi Seidna airfield due to deteriorating security conditions,” the federal government now warns on its website.

Earlier, National Defense Minister Anita Anand confirmed on Twitter that two more evacuation flights took place on Saturday, but did not specify how many people were on board.

“We will continue to do all we can to help Canadians in Sudan, as conditions permit,” she wrote on social media.

Also as of Saturday morning, some 300 other Canadians were waiting to receive assistance from Ottawa to leave the country. Minister Anand is expected to provide a more specific update on the situation at a new press briefing on Sunday morning.

On Saturday, she had already announced that Canada was exploring its options for conducting sea and land evacuations. Two Canadian naval vessels have just been ordered to stay close to Sudan, “in case they become useful for evacuation efforts.”