SDF Planes Arrive in Djibouti for Sudan Evacuation

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A C-130 transport aircraft of the Air Self-Defense Force departs for Djibouti from Komaki Air Base in Aichi Prefecture on Friday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Three Air Self-Defense Force transport planes have arrived in Djibouti for the mission to evacuate Japanese nationals from nearby Sudan, the Defense Ministry said Sunday.

Sudan’s military said it has agreed to help evacuate foreign nationals from the country. The Japanese government is working to assess the local situation in detail.

In Sudan, fighting between the country’s military and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group has escalated, causing many casualties.

The three SDF planes — a C-130 transport plane, a C-2 transport plane and a KC-767 aerial refueling and transport aircraft — will make preparations in Djibouti so as to be able to respond promptly when they are ordered to go on the evacuation mission.

The Defense Ministry has put together a joint task force made up of around 370 ASDF and Ground SDF members.

The three planes left Japan for Djibouti on Friday and Saturday, carrying personnel to be engaged in protection and other activities and equipment that would be necessary if the SDF transports Japanese citizens overland. After making stopovers for refueling, they arrived in Djibouti by the early hours of Sunday Japan time.

In Djibouti, which is only about 1,200 kilometers away from Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, Japan has an SDF base for operations against pirates in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia and military bases of the United States, China and France are also located. SDF liaison coordinators who have been sent to Djibouti are collecting information and making coordination with other countries’ militaries.