(OTTAWA) Two Canadian Hercules aircraft will conduct evacuation flights from Sudan, but they are waiting for “conditions permitting,” National Defense Minister Anita Anand said. Canada lags behind several countries like Germany and France, which have managed to establish air bridges to root out their nationals – and nearly 150 Canadians to date.
The minister provided an update on the situation on Wednesday, as the 72-hour ceasefire that came into effect on Monday remains very fragile, with new fighting between the army and paramilitaries having broken out in the capital, Khartoum.
“Canadian Armed Forces personnel and resources have been sent to the area and are planning evacuation operations… They are coordinating, in close collaboration with our allies and partners, their efforts to be able to evacuate as many people as possible. possible number of people,” she said.
The forces “are ready” to begin evacuation flights and will do so “as soon as ground conditions permit,” the minister said, without wanting to give a timeline or explain why Canada is not unable to organize air transport as other countries have done.
In addition to the two Hercules aircraft that recently arrived in the region, Canada also has “a couple of ships in the Red Sea, in Port Sudan, a frigate and a supply ship,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed on Tuesday.
Of the approximately 1,800 Canadians in Sudan, according to the Global Affairs Registry, about 700 had requested assistance and 150 were evacuated, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said during a melee. press.
His colleague at Immigration, Sean Fraser, relaxed certain immigration measures last Monday, but he has not come to the point of proposing a reception program for Sudanese as has been done for Afghans or for Ukrainians, for example. .
However, he did not categorically dismiss it. “I’m looking at other options for people who are in Sudan who are not Canadian nationals,” he said. The specific remedy for different groups may vary.
Officials from Global Affairs Canada will provide an update on the situation in Sudan in the afternoon.