With the US government declining to evacuate American citizens from Sudan due to safety concerns, private security firms in Sudan have stepped in to help. These companies are assisting Americans and other foreign nationals in leaving the conflict-torn country. The situation is drawing comparisons to the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. As the civil war intensifies, private security firms actively rescue and transport individuals to safety in neighboring countries such as Egypt and Eritrea.
“It is not our standard procedure to evacuate American citizens living abroad. Afghanistan was a unique situation for many reasons, including already hosting a significant military presence and ending a 20-year conflict. The Afghanistan evacuation was not the norm.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
The US embassy in Khartoum had issued security alerts urging American citizens to avoid traveling to Sudan and make their own safety arrangements. With the US government’s refusal to conduct evacuations, many Americans have opted to hire private security firms to ensure their safe exit from the country. Staffed by former military and law enforcement personnel, these firms have navigated dangerous conditions to assist those in need.
Why it matters:
The situation in Sudan highlights the challenges US citizens face in conflict zones when the government is unable or unwilling to provide assistance. Comparisons to the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan raise questions about the Biden administration’s approach to these situations and whether lessons have been learned from past experiences. Meanwhile, the role of private security firms in Sudan during this crisis has spotlighted the challenges and complexities of civilian evacuations in conflict zones.
Critics argue that the US government should have been better prepared for the potential of conflict in Sudan rather than relying on the promise of a peaceful transition of power. The current crisis is a stark reminder of the need for governments and citizens to remain vigilant and prepared for worst-case scenarios.