(OTTAWA) The evacuation operation for Canadians in Sudan was hampered by a mechanical problem on a military aircraft that has since been resolved, Defense Minister Anita Anand announced Friday.
Minister Anand did not specify what the mechanical problem was, saying her officials will explain it to reporters in the afternoon.
But she says another problem arose, an oil slick on a runway used for evacuations in Sudan.
She says about 250 Canadians have been evacuated from the East African country, which has faced an upsurge in violence in the past two weeks between the country’s military and paramilitary forces.
Ms. Anand notes that Turkey reported that one of its military evacuation planes had been fired upon, which she said illustrates the danger in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.
She says two of Canada’s Hercules search and rescue planes have so far evacuated 117 people, including 42 Canadians, while a C-17 plane is stationed in Djibouti to help bring people from that country to Canada. .
“The situation is very dangerous and very unstable on the ground. This situation is changing rapidly. I get updates every hour,” Ms. Anand told reporters in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
“The ground at the airport is very rough. And that requires continuous assessment by our leaders with our allies,” she added.
According to Turkish news site Daily Sabah, the country’s defense ministry said a C-130 was shot down with small arms. The ministry reportedly accused the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary group, of shooting at the plane, which the group denied.
Asked about the Sudan situation in New York, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is also working to try to bring peace to the country.
“It’s one thing to ensure our responsibilities to Canadians, but it’s another thing to continue working to restore peace and security for everyone in Sudan,” he said. .