Oslo, 19 April 2023 (TDI): Norway has expressed deep concern over the hostile situation in Sudan. It has urged Sudanese authorities to fulfill their commitment to ensuring the safety and protection of diplomatic personnel of Norway in Khartoum.
The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt stated, “It is extremely serious that the ambassador’s residence in Khartoum was hit by a shell on Sunday. We have communicated our deep concern about the extremely dangerous situation for diplomats in Khartoum to the Sudanese Government.”
Earlier, amidst heightened tension between armed groups in Sudan, the residency of Norway’s ambassador was hit by a shell. The ambassador was not injured but his residence bore significant damage.
Norway currently has three diplomats posted in Sudan. The situation in Sudan is volatile and diplomats lack proper protection as enshrined in Geneva Convention. The Foreign Minister raised concerns over the safety of employees in Khartoum.
The Norwegian Foreign Ministry has been put on high alert and is working to evacuate the employees out of Sudan. However, the endeavor has not been successful so far.
The Rapid Support Group, one of the warring parties of the conflict, is involved in looting and assaulting the diplomats. The group has also attempted to enter the Norwegian Embassy compound.
In case of war, international law obligates the protection of civilians and diplomatic and humanitarian personnel. At present, around 40 persons in connection to Norway are present in Sudan.
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is figuring out the exact number of personnel in Sudan belonging to Norway. The Minister refrained Norwegian citizens from traveling and recommended them to stay indoors.
The airport in Khartoum has been closed due to airstrikes and clashes. The unpredictable situation in Sudan has made it impossible to help and evacuate the Norwegian citizens to a safer place.
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also provided a contact number for Norwegian Citizens in Sudan to seek help and register themselves at the travel information portal.
Norway condemned the violent clashes in Sudan and mourned the loss of innocent lives since the fight broke out. It has urged responsible leaders to prevent further escalations.
Norway emphasized the need to respect and accept the proposal of the United Nations and international partners for a 24-hour ceasefire.
The ceasefire will enable providing humanitarian access to those in need, a reunion of families, and enhancing the security and protection of Norway’s diplomatic personnel and representatives of other international organizations.
The Sudanese authorities should find a political solution to the crisis. The solution should seek a smooth transition towards a civilian-led government.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs further urged the Sudanese army and RSF group to implement the Cessation of Hostilities for 24 hours and respect humanitarian law.