U.S. embassy staff evacuated from Sudan: Biden says the civil war 'unconscionable'

Two warlords are fighting it out for control of Sudan. The staff at the U.S. embassy in Khartoum was successfully evacuated Saturday. The embassy was shuttered indefinitely. The drama of an apparent last-minute evacuation brings back bad memories of Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. Biden and his State Department, under the guidance of Tony Blinken, are consistently caught unprepared and only act in a last-ditch effort to secure the safety of Americans in dangerous spots overseas.

Joe Biden called the violence in Sudan “unconscionable” and he thanked the U.S. troops who evacuated the American staffers from Sudan. There are no current plans for the thousands of Americans who remain in Sudan to be evacuated. The situation now is too dangerous so about 16,000 Americans are stuck in the country. God help them.

The Biden administration’s handling of the situation is too little too late for those depending on the State Department and the Department of Defense to get them out of danger’s way. It would be nice if now and then we got the impression that this administration is keeping watch on hot spots and planning ahead instead of always looking like it is caught unprepared and endangering the lives of fellow American citizens. The withdrawal from Afghanistan was a huge wake-up call that Joe Biden is not up to the job of commander-in-chief. Nothing has changed since then.

Biden said he is receiving regular reports on efforts by his team to help Americans who remain in Sudan “to the extent possible.” That doesn’t sound encouraging, does it? The administration has not proven itself worthy of trust when it comes to Americans living and working overseas.

“I am proud of the extraordinary commitment of our Embassy staff, who performed their duties with courage and professionalism and embodied America’s friendship and connection with the people of Sudan,” Biden said in a statement. “I am grateful for the unmatched skill of our service members who successfully brought them to safety.”

Biden also thanked Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia for their help with the mission.

Biden ordered American troops to evacuate embassy personnel after receiving a recommendation earlier Saturday from his national security team with no end in sight to the fighting.

“This tragic violence in Sudan has already cost the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians. It’s unconscionable and it must stop,” Biden said. “The belligerent parties must implement an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, allow unhindered humanitarian access, and respect the will of the people of Sudan.”

One American citizen has been killed since the conflict began on April 15. The total number of deaths reported by the World Health Organization is at least 413 people, with those injured estimated to be 3,551. The American has not been identified and did not work at the U.S. embassy.

“We can confirm the death of one U.S. citizen in Sudan,” a State Department spokesperson said to Fox News. “We are in touch with the family and offer our deepest condolences to them on their loss. Out of respect for the family during this difficult time, we have nothing further to add.”

The evacuation operation was conducted by Special Operations forces on Saturday. No shots were fired and no major casualties were reported. Staffers were flown to Ethiopia.

About 100 U.S. troops in three MH-47 helicopters carried out the operation. They airlifted all of roughly 70 remaining American employees from a landing zone at the embassy to an undisclosed location in Ethiopia. Ethiopia also provided overflight and refueling support, said Molly Phee, assistant Secretary of State for African affairs.

“[Yesterday], the U.S. military evacuated that personnel in support of the State Department closing operations at the Embassy in Khartoum,” Army Lt. Gen. Douglas A. Sims II, the Joint Staff’s director of operations, said in a press release. “[Yesterday] at 9 a.m. Eastern, a contingent of U.S. forces lifted off from Djibouti and landed in Ethiopia.

U.S. Africa Command and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley were in contact with both warring factions before and during the operation to ensure that U.S. forces would have safe passage to conduct the evacuation. However, John Bass, a U.S. undersecretary of state, denied claims by one faction, Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Security Forces (RSF), that it assisted in the U.S. evacuation.

Biden also gave the order to evacuate the embassy from the embattled country with a few allied diplomats also being evacuated, State Department officials said in a telephonic news conference.

It is hard to not think that if the State Department had been on the ball and worked to coordinate with the Department of Defense when the two generals began their fighting, creating violent chaos in Sudan, from the early days, some of the more than 16,000 Americans trapped in Sudan now might have been able to safely evacuate. It sure serves as a reminder that thousands of Afghan helpers remain in Afghanistan, unable to leave after Biden’s botched exit, though they were promised help by the American military for whom they provided support.

Fortunately, today the story is not about the deaths of American staffers in the U.S. embassy. Let’s hope the thousands of Americans still there can remain safe and live through this power struggle between two warring generals, too. Sadly, the record of Biden and Blinken isn’t good – more like that of Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.

A number of governments have begun to evacuate their citizens out of Sudan as fierce fighting rages on, showing no sign of a truce.