Statement on Sudan conflict
On Wednesday 26 April I met with representatives of the Sudanese community in Australia to hear their concerns about the crisis in Sudan and discuss the Australian Government’s efforts to facilitate the departure of Australian citizens and their families. I expressed my personal distress regarding the crisis and the needless loss of life due to the escalating violence, and offered the Australian Government’s deepest condolences to those who had lost friends and loved ones. It was a productive meeting and I thank all those who attended for their insights and frank assessments of the situation, along with their constructive suggestions for action.
The Australian Government condemns the violence across Sudan that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent people.
Australia calls on all parties to respect the current ceasefire, to cease hostilities and to prevent further needless bloodshed. A negotiated solution is the only path forward for the people of Sudan.
The security situation remains highly volatile and dangerous. Working with partners, we are facilitating the departure of Australian citizens and their families from Sudan. Nearly 70 Australians have now safely left Sudan.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has deployed additional consular officers to Djibouti, Jeddah, Cyprus and Cairo, who are supporting Australians and their families in Sudan, as well as those who have already departed. DFAT’s Crisis Centre is operating 24-7 to assist Australians as much as possible and DFAT has embedded an officer in the UK Crisis Centre to ensure coordination with UK evacuation planning.
The best way to receive information on options to depart Sudan is for people to register their details in our Registration Online Portal on the Smartraveller website. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is communicating directly with those registered on potential options for leaving Sudan via SMS and email.
Any community members who have concerns about the welfare of Australian family members and friends in Sudan can also register their details through the Smartraveller website or contact the Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 in Australia or +61 2 62613305 outside Australia.
Australians in Sudan wishing to depart should strongly consider leaving as soon as possible. Australians in Sudan can access several flights operated by partner countries today (27 April) from Wadi Sayyidna airfield north of Khartoum. The 72-hour ceasefire ends tonight and further flights after that cannot be guaranteed. If Australians in Sudan cannot make it to Wadi Sayyidna, boats are departing from Port Sudan to Jeddah.
Australians in Sudan should consider the risks carefully before attempting to leave by any route, including during ceasefires. If Australians are not confident in the safety and reliability of any departure option, they should continue to shelter in a safe place. Australians in Sudan should monitor the media and continue to follow advice on Smartraveller.
Sudanese temporary visa holders in Australia, who would like to extend their stay in Australia, can check their visa details through our Visa Entitlement Verification Online system (VEVO). Those who have a ‘no further stay condition’ attached to their visa can apply to have this waived at No further stay waiver (homeaffairs.gov.au). The request for a waiver must be made before the visa expires and should be made as soon as possible to allow for assessment.
I know many in the Sudanese community are deeply concerned at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Sudan. The Australian Government calls on all parties to protect health facilities and enable safe humanitarian access for partners to deliver life-saving assistance to the people of Sudan. We are also in close contact with humanitarian partners on their response to the crisis.
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555