Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday claimed that only “some dozen” Americans out of an estimated 16,000 who may still be in Sudan have expressed interest in leaving.
Over the weekend, President Joe Biden evacuated under 100 personnel from the U.S. embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, amid escalating violence between two rival groups.
The administration boasted about the success of the evacuation, which was conducted Saturday with the help of about 100 U.S. special operations forces, but acknowledged it left American citizens behind and would not be militarily evacuating them.
Under Secretary for Management Ambassador John Bass told reporters on Saturday evening, as reported by Breitbart News, “As a result of that uncertain security picture, as a result of the unavailability of the civilian airport, we don’t foresee coordinating a U.S. Government evacuation for our fellow citizens in Sudan at this time or in the coming days.” Bass was on the ground in Afghanistan at the time of that withdrawal, which also left thousands of Americans stranded.
Blinken on Monday claimed that the U.S. did not know how many Americans were on the ground in Sudan and that only “some dozen” have said they want to leave.
“First, in terms of American citizens in Sudan, as you know, in any country around the world, whether it’s Sudan or anywhere else, we never know with any precision how many Americans may be there at any given time because Americans are not required to register with the embassy with the government, either when they go when they reside or when they leave. So we don’t have a good fix on the number of Americans who are there at any given time, including now,” he said.
He said he did know the number of Americans registered with the U.S. embassy but did not offer a figure.
“We’re in very active touch communication. And of those, I would say some dozen this have expressed an interest in leaving,” he said.
Blinken also claimed, without providing figures, that the “overwhelming majority” of American citizens in Sudan are dual nationals who have been living there for decades and want to continue doing that.
He said the U.S. still had services in Sudan to help Americans who want to leave but also acknowledged that convoys of foreigners leaving Sudan were facing problems.
“Some of them have encountered problems, including robbery, looting, that kind of thing. Others not, but it’s something that we’re tracking very, very carefully,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Biden administration spokesman John Kirby claimed that 16,000 Americans in Sudan was just an “estimate.”
“We don’t have great confidence in that number precisely,” he said.
“16,000 Americans still in Sudan — what do we know about their condition? Are any further evacuation efforts planned?”
JOHN KIRBY: “We don’t have great confidence in that number precisely” pic.twitter.com/Ad6WMuDr7h
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 24, 2023
Kirby also claimed that most Americans in Sudan are dual citizens and do not want to leave.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany and acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell tweeted, “This isn’t remotely true.”
John Kirby tells @GayleKing that it’s currently unsafe to provide more evacuations of Americans in Sudan.
He also says that most of the Americans trapped are dual citizens & don’t want to leave.
Gayle just sat there – no pushback. So sad. This isn’t remotely true. @CBSMornings
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) April 24, 2023
Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter, Truth Social, or on Facebook.
Read the full article here
Discussion about this post