Cypriot family in Sudan safe at home

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A 10-member Cypriot family remain safe at their home in Khartoum during armed fighting in Sudan, the Foreign Ministry confirmed to CNA on Tuesday.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Theodoros Gotsis told CNA the family had been located and consisted of approximately 10 individuals who remained in their home.

“They are safe, which is why they obviously did not seek to communicate themselves, but there has been communication in an attempt to verify all the information obtained through the Honorary Consul,” he said.

“What matters is that there is communication now.

“These people grew up in Khartoum and know better than us the conditions and how to protect themselves.

“If something comes up, they know where to turn. Beyond that, it’s a matter of coordination with the EU consular network and how we will proceed if there is a ceasefire,” Gotsis added.

He said the search continued for other Cypriot families.

“What needs to be emphasised is that there must be a ceasefire so that each country can determine exactly what its nationals need.

“We urge the public, if there is more information, even if it is unconfirmed, to convey it to us so that verification can take place”.

Travel advice issued by the Foreign Ministry advises Cypriot citizens to avoid non-essential travel to the country.

Cypriot citizens in Sudan are advised to follow developments and information from the international and local media closely, avoid unnecessary movements and apply maximum security measures.

Cypriot citizens are also advised to register to the online registration platform for Cypriots Abroad Connect2CY.

Fierce fighting

Sudan’s rival commanders agreed to a 24-hour ceasefire from Tuesday, following calls to each side from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken over fierce fighting in Khartoum that saw shots fired at a US diplomatic convoy.

The ceasefire will start at 6.00 pm (1600 GMT) and will not extend beyond the agreed 24 hours, Army General Shams El Din Kabbashi, a member of Sudan’s ruling military council, said.

Blinken held separate calls with the army chief and the head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), whose power struggle has killed at least 185 people across the country and derailed an internationally-backed plan to shift to civilian rule after decades of autocracy and military control.

RSF leader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, whose whereabouts have not been disclosed since fighting began, said the RSF approved the 24-hour ceasefire to ensure the safe passage of civilians and the evacuation of the wounded.

Blinken said initial reports suggested the attack on the US envoy was undertaken by forces associated with the RSF, calling the action “reckless”.

Underscoring the risk a prolonged conflict presents to regional stability, Kabbashi said two neighbouring countries were attempting to provide aid to the RSF. He did not identify the countries.

The fighting has raged in several regions of the country since Saturday.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it was nearly impossible to provide humanitarian services around the capital.

It warned the country’s health system was at risk of collapse.

In case of emergency, Cypriot citizens are requested to contact the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Cairo: Tel: +202 27377012, +202 27377013, +202 27377014 Office hours Sunday-Thursday (08:00-15:30) Mob: +20 101 6670101 Non-Working hours.

Also, the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Cyprus in Khartoum: Tel: + 249 183 794445, + 249 912 303603, the Consular Affairs Department: Tel: +357 22 651113 (08:30-15:00, Monday–Friday) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Crisis Management Department: Tel: +357 22 801000, +357 22651295 (08:30-15:00, Monday–Friday) Mob: +357 97 775998 Non-Working hours.