Sudan | New ceasefire effort – The “COSMOS” plan of HNDGS for the evacuation of the Greeks of Sudan
Defence Redefined
Published on 20/04/2023 at 09:08

The situation in Sudan remains out of control, with warring factions, the country’s Armed Forces, and paramilitaries fighting for power.

Today the heads of the UN, African Union, Arab League, and other international and regional organizations will meet to again call for a ceasefire in Sudan, which has failed to hold for the 2nd time despite both the Army and the Rapid Support Force (RSF) having announced that they would adhere to it.

The 24-hour ceasefire was due to come into effect on Tuesday (18/4) at 18:00 local time (19:00 Cyprus time), but fighting continued and the paramilitary Sudan Rapid Support Force agreed to a new 24-hour ceasefire, which would come into effect on Wednesday (19/4) at 18:00 local time (19:00 Cyprus time) during the fifth day of heavy clashes with the country’s tactical Army.

But again the ceasefire effort fell on deaf ears, as shelling in central Khartoum continued, around the building complex housing the Army’s General Staff as well as at the city’s airport, which has been closed since last Saturday.

Germany and Japan are reportedly planning to evacuate their citizens, but the US Embassy in Khartoum said that due to the uncertain security situation in Khartoum and the closure of the airport, there are no plans for a US government-coordinated evacuation at this time. 

Also read: Sudan | At least 250 dead, 100,000 displaced in Darfur conflict, according to UN

The “COSMOS” plan

As reported by SKAI, the Hellenic Armed Forces are ready to assist in the evacuation of the Greeks of Sudan, as the African country is plunged into chaos and violence.

The Hellenic National Defence General Staff (HNDGS) may implement the operational plan “COSMOS”, if requested by the government, in consultation with the Greek diplomatic authorities.

This is an operational plan that has been used in similar situations in the past, when it was deemed necessary to evacuate Greek citizens or expatriates. This plan has been updated and provides for the evacuation of citizens with the assistance of the Hellenic Armed Forces.

In particular, the plan provides for:

  • the establishment of a predetermined evacuation point at a Sudanese port or airport;
  • either a Hellenic Navy frigate, a Hellenic Air Force helicopter, or an aircraft will rush there and, with the assistance of the Special Paratrooper Unit, it will ensure the safe evacuation of Greek citizens, expatriates, or nationals of other countries.

This plan has been implemented on at least four occasions in the past, with all humanitarian operations being completed successfully. The first time the Hellenic Armed Forces were called on to evacuate civilians from war zones was in 1993 in Abkhazia during Operation “Golden Fleece”.

Also read: Sudan and Ethiopia to hold talks on border crisis

The Hellenic Armed Forces carried out a plan to evacuate 1,484 people from Sukhumi, which began in July and ended on 18 August. Underwater Demolition Units, Marines, and diplomats took part in the operation and managed to evacuate the expatriates in time, shortly before Sukhumi was captured by Abkhazian forces.

In 1997, the “Kosmas Etolos” operation followed in Albania for the evacuation of 52 Greeks, in the midst of riots and hostilities, with the assistance of the Hellenic Navy and the Underwater Demolition Command personnel.

A few years later, in 2011, the rescue operation of 184 people, mostly Greek citizens, from Alexandria, Egypt, took place, for which C-130 aircraft were deployed that took off from the 112th Combat Wing of Eleusis.

Also read: Ukrainian Issue | The Cypriot Government is “working for the safe evacuation of all Cypriots from Ukraine”

The last time the “COSMOS” plan was implemented was in 2014 with the “SALAMIS” frigate in Tripoli of Libya for the removal of Greek citizens amid the war in the country.

Especially in the case of Sudan, any action to remove civilians carries great risk because of the war situation. However, in the event that it is decided to evacuate Greek citizens or expatriates, the Hellenic Armed Forces are ready to ensure the successful outcome of the operation.

Also read: Sudan | Military coup underway – Deep concern expressed by Arab League

The wounded Greeks have been found

The two wounded Greeks who were missing in Sudan have been found. For a long time, there was anxiety about their fate, since the ambulance that transported them from the hospital had not been located.

However, according to the information, the two men who were shot finally found safe shelter elsewhere. In particular, they are said to be at the home of a relative of one of the two. Both are in good health, however, one has shrapnel in his leg and needs surgery.

The International Red Cross is aware of the presence and needs of the rest of the Greeks in Khartoum. At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains in coordination with the other EU member-states for medical aid and a possible evacuation operation, when the conditions allow it.

Finally, the 177 Egyptian soldiers who had fallen into the hands of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Sudan were airlifted to Egypt, announced the Sudanese Army, which is now embroiled in a war with the RSF.

Egypt’s Armed Forces were at an air base in northern Sudan for “joint training”, according to the General Staff in Cairo, when the African country plunged into chaos on Saturday.

Also read: Sudan | Prime Minister resigns from Office




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