The Italian airlifters, deployed to Djibouti, have evacuated about 200 civilians, including more than 100 Italians out of Sudan.
The power struggle between the regular army and a powerful paramilitary force has led to fierce fighting across Sudan and in Karthoum for more than a week, forcing several countries to evacuate diplomats and citizens from Sudan’s capital. The evacuation of “all Italians who wanted to leave Sudan” has been successfully completed, said Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier Antonio Tajani arriving at a meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers in Luxembourg.
The mission to bring home the Italian citizens along with civilians from other nations was launched on Sunday, Apr. 23, when two C-130J (including at least one C-130J-30) took off from Djibouti, at around 13.55 Italian time.
The two Super Hercules, belonging to the 46^ Brigata Aerea (Air Brigade) from Pisa, carrying Italian Army and Carabinieri special forces personnel as well as Air Force riflemen, tasked to provide security when on the ground in Sudan, landed at Khartoum where around 200 civilians were boarded, including 140 Italians (although some sources say the Italians were 105), and then took off again to Djibouti.
In coordinamento con @Palazzo_Chigi e @ItalyMFA, in corso evacuazione nostri connazionali.
Impiegati #C130 #AeronauticaMilitare e Forze Speciali #Esercito e #Carabinieri. Min. @GuidoCrosetto in contatto costante con sala operativa COVI. #Difesa al servizio dei cittadini pic.twitter.com/itRFNdyOJB
— Ministero Difesa (@MinisteroDifesa) April 23, 2023
At 22.57 Italian Time, Italy’s Minister of Defense, Guido Crosetto, announced that the Italian citizens were safe and being flown back to Djibouti. From there, the civilians embarked on the Italian Air Force KC-767A MM62226 of the 14° Stormo based at Pratica di Mare, that arrived to Djibouti from Kuwait, that at the time of writing is on its way to Rome – Ciampino airport, where it expected to land in the evening.
The Italian evacuation took place as the U.S., UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands were also evacuating their diplomats and other nationals from Sudan. The U.S. Embassy was evacuated and little less than 100 people were airlifted using three MH-47 Chinook helicopters.