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First Canadian evacuation flight from Sudan has departed: Anand

Canadians left the country on a Hercules search-and-rescue plane, more flights planned
Evacuees from Sudan, disembark from a British military plane after their arrival at Larnaca airport, Cyprus, Thursday, April 27, 2023. Around 140 people including British and other citizens from European Union countries, arrived in Cyprus after being evacuated from Sudan. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Defence Minister Anita Anand says the first Canadian evacuation flight from Sudan has taken off and additional evacuations are planned over the next few days.

She says Canadians left the country on a Hercules search-and-rescue plane and more flights are planned in the coming days using two such aircraft that are in the region.

Anand told reporters in Enfield, N.S., this morning that the Canadian military is operating in a volatile situation in the country, where violence erupted last week between the East African country’s army and a paramilitary force.

Ottawa has faced some criticism for a slow response, with other allies doing the heavy lifting to help Canadians and their dependants leave the country until now.

As of Wednesday evening, Global Affairs Canada said it was aware of about 1,800 Canadian citizens in Sudan, and about 700 people had asked for the government’s help to leave the country.

Officials who gave a technical briefing to reporters on Wednesday under the condition they not be named said it is unlikely that Canadian evacuation flights will continue past this week.

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