Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said a group of holiday-makers, 14 Hungarians and 48 people of other nationalities, have been evacuated from the coast of Sudan amid the civil war there.
The foreign ministry contacted the crew of the ship which had taken the group on a diving cruise, as well as the holiday organizers, and the ship sailed to Egypt rather than returning to Sudan, the ministry said. Officials of the Hungarian embassy in Cairo met the rescued group after the ship reached the harbor, it said, adding that the Hungarians are expected to fly back to Budapest on Sunday. The ministry also quoted Minister Szijjártó as saying that Hungarian diplomats are in communication with eight other Hungarians in Sudan, and they are making preparations to evacuate them as soon as “conditions are safe”. Minister Szijjártó added, however, that “[Sudan’s] airports are incapacitated for the moment, rendering attempts to evacuate people impossible.” The foreign ministry is in contact with other countries whose citizens were stranded in Sudan, he said, and “once one of those countries can start the evacuation, people of other nationalities, too, can rely on their help.” The foreign ministry is monitoring developments and will do everything to ensure the security of Hungarians at risk, Szijjártó added. Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said in a video published on Facebook that the evacuation had been “managed by the foreign ministry involving the Counter-Terrorism Centre and using capacities of the Hungarian military”. He said his ministry was monitoring developments in Sudan, adding that “the security of Hungarians is paramount, wherever they happen to be in the world.” Similarly to Hungary, several countries have started evacuating their citizens from Sudan, where clashes between the national army and paramilitary organizations started a week ago, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said.