A team of British troops have flown into a port town in the East of Sudan on a reconnaissance mission as the United Kingdom government weighs available options to evacuate British nationals stranded in the crisis-hit country, most prominently its capital, Khartoum.
The soldiers landed at Port Sudan, on the Red Sea on Monday, according to a Daily Mail report.
This, however, does not mean a rescue is imminent.
A British warship, the HMS Lancaster, is also in the region and could be used to help with rescue missions, according to Whitehall sources.
The Royal Air Force is considering a “viable option” of flying in from Cyprus to a Sudanese airfield just outside the capital — a route used over the weekend to rescue diplomats stuck in the war-torn country.
This is due to the 500-mile long and arduous journey from Khartoum to Port Sudan, Daily Mail reports.
Any decision, however, to order new evacuations will largely depend on the government’s willingness to take risks.According to reports, there are roughly 4,000 British passport holders in Sudan.
Another option being considered is that the government could ask allies to help take in its citizens.
The armed forces minister, James Heappey, said the military had various alternatives to present to the prime minister as pressure mounts on the government to help thousands of British nationals trapped in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, according to Daily Mail.
British forces extracted all British diplomats and their families from the city during a weekend raid.
“But of course the job isn’t done,” Mr Heappey said.
“Work is under way in this building and has been all weekend and all of the back end of last week to give the prime minister and Cobra [the emergency committee meeting of top ministers and officials] options for what else could be done to support the wider community of British nationals in Sudan.
“Those options are being developed at pace.“The prime minister will be given the option to take any of the options that we present him with as and when they arise and that’s been the rhythm of things all weekend long,” he added.