Royal Navy: HMS Lancaster to arrive at Port Sudan to help with the evacuation effort of British nationals

A Portsmouth-based frigate is on its way to Port Sudan as efforts continue to evacuate British nationals from the wartorn area.
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During a television interview this evening, defence secretary Ben Wallace told Channel 4 that HMS Lancaster was due to ‘come alongside’ Port Sudan tomorrow (Wednesday, April 26) and will later be followed by Bahrain-based RFA Cardigan Bay – a Bay-class Landing Ship Dock – which will have the ability to provide a ‘humanitarian platform’ as the crisis worsens.

The news comes as the UK's first evacuation flight carrying British nationals from Sudan landed in Cyprus with more flights expected tonight and on Wednesday, as efforts continue to get hundreds out of the war-torn country during a 72-hour ceasefire after intense fighting around Sudan’s capital Khartoum.

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People landing at Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus will later be transported back to the UK. Around 4,000 UK nationals are thought to be in Sudan and around half of them have already requested help, Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell said on Monday, and only British passport holders and their immediate family with existing UK entry clearance are eligible.

The Foreign Office initially said people should not travel to be evacuated until told to do so, however it has now updated that advice this afternoon urging people to make their way to the Wadi Saeedna airfield to the north of Khartoum ‘as soon as possible’.

Some people fleeing the area have been making with way north to Egypt while others have been heading to the coast hoping for an escape route by sea. It is believed that at least 459 people have been killed since clashes between rival military factions began on 15 April.