Hundreds of evacuees arrived in Saudi Arabia from Sudan as fierce fighting in the country between the army and a rival paramilitary group entered its third week, despite another attempt at a ceasefire.
Violent clashes broke out the capital Khartoum near the presidential palace in the city centre.
Sudan’s Armed Forces, led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group, led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, have agreed multiple truces but none have held.
The situation in Sudan has deteriorated since fighting broke out on April 15, leaving hundreds dead and tens of thousands fleeing to neighboring countries.
A commercial ship carrying more than 1800 evacuees arrived in the Saudi port city of Jeddah Saturday.
The ship carried 20 Saudi citizens with the remainder people from various European, Asian and African countries evacuated from Sudan, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said.
Two US nationals who arrived into Jeddah on Saturday described their experiences to CNN.
Namour al-Tayeb described his journey from the Sudanese capital Khartoum to Port Sudan as a “very hard trip” passing through forces from both warring military factions .
Before his evacuation, al-Tayeb was in Khartoum, where he said the situation is “horrible” with “gunfire all over the place.”
Al-Tayeb said he was happy to be evacuated and grateful to the Saudi government, but that he was “very scared” for friends and family left behind who did not have visas.
Hadi Haytham, another US national, he felt “lucky” to have left a “terrible situation” in the capital and that he is praying for those left behind in Sudan.
Those still there face dwindling food, water and power supplies.
A German citizen of Sudanese origin who remains in Sudan, Hatem Awadallah, described how he was subjected to looting at dawn on Saturday by RSF members.
“I woke up at 1:30 am to the sound of a Kalashnikov weapon that was placed on my head and a group of armed men from the Rapid Support Forces. They demanded that I give them any amount of money, or they will be killed.”
“They brought my 83-year-old mother from her room as well. They put the weapon on her head and gathered everyone in the house, and they gave us a choice between death or handing over the money.”
Markets and shops across the country have also been subjected to widespread looting during the past days. Police forces have been deployed for the first time since the outbreak of the violence.