United States Evacuates Its Embassy in Sudan

Smoke rises during clashes on April 19 between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum, Sudan.
Ahmed Satti/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

United States Evacuates Its Embassy in Sudan

Echoes of a world power’s death knell in Khartoum

The nation of Sudan is once again in a civil war. On April 23, United States special forces evacuated around 100 embassy personnel in Khartoum. The U.S. Embassy is now closed for the foreseeable future. The violence erupted suddenly last week when Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who controls the military, and Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, leading the Rapid Security Forces, began struggling for control of the nation. At least 400 people have been killed and over 3,500 injured.

The two factions were supposed to usher in a democracy after overthrowing dictator Omar al-Bashir. Instead, the country is caught in a cycle of unending turmoil. Embassy staff escaped the violence in a “fast and clean” evacuation, but around 16,000 other American citizens were left to fend for themselves.

“The White House has said it has no plans for a government-coordinated evacuation of American citizens trapped in Sudan,” wrote Politico. “An estimated 16,000 private U.S. citizens are registered with the embassy as being in Sudan. The State Department has cautioned that that figure probably is inaccurate because there is no requirement for Americans to register nor is there a requirement to notify the embassy when they leave.”

For the past 10 years, the State Department has warned Americans not to travel to war-plagued Sudan. But some went as aid workers; others have family there. Now, all have been essentially marooned. This abandonment of U.S. citizens is unprecedented.

“The United States has, for decades, considered its commitment to its citizens abroad to be sacrosanct,” wrote Elliot Ackerman at the Atlantic. “For this reason, until very recently, the evacuation of noncombatants from conflict zones—known as a noncombatant evacuation operation [neo]—was a relatively common and quintessentially American mission.” neos coordinate the safe extraction of Americans from dangerous situations, usually involving marines, airborne troops and the Departments of State and Defense.

Ackerman continued:

American citizens living abroad can hardly be expected to have predicted a crisis that intelligence agencies failed to see coming. For the U.S. government to allow its citizens to languish in a war-ravaged country on the grounds that they failed to predict the unpredictable is contrary to our values and at odds with the type of moral leadership the U.S. has long aspired to project outside its borders.

Embassies are symbolic of a nation’s power and prestige overseas. What occurs at embassies reflects on a country’s pride and reputation. This includes how well a nation’s citizens abroad are protected. A nation that protects its people all over the world projects strength, leadership and power. This is important.

The U.S. has executed dozens of noncombatant evacuation operations over the past decades. Perhaps the most memorable is the evacuation of over 7,000 people from Saigon, Vietnam, in April 1975. Other neos occured in Somalia in January 1991, Rwanda in 1994 and Sierra Leone in 1997. Many were the result of similar situations in Sudan today. These measures saved many Americans from being caught in the middle of genocides and facing terrible conditions. In January 2013, a neo rescued all American citizens from Juba in South Sudan. There is virtually no situational difference between South Sudan in 2013 and Sudan today. So what has changed?

In a word: Afghanistan.

Ackerman continued in the Atlantic:

Today’s conflict in Sudan falls under a shadow that did not overhang decision-making in Lebanon, however: the evacuation of Afghanistan in August 2021. There, the security situation deteriorated much more rapidly than most people predicted it would, introducing many unexpected variables. The neo devolved into chaos, culminating with a suicide bombing at Kabul International Airport that killed 13 American service members and 170 Afghans.

The Biden administration understandably wishes to avoid a repetition of those events. But in doing so, it is sending the message that the U.S. government is no longer willing to go to the same lengths it once was to recover American citizens.

There are some key differences between Afghanistan and Sudan: Sudan was not under American control, it does not have a large U.S. military footprint, and events were not controlled by the U.S. as they were in Afghanistan. However, the fall of Afghanistan has cast a long shadow that America may never escape. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in the October 2021 issue: “This has been the worst foreign-policy disaster in the nation’s history. This terrible defeat was a spectacle seen by the entire world—and they were watching intently! It will mar our history, perhaps for the rest of time.”

This is one way the Afghanistan crisis marred America—every foreign-policy decision is perceived as a sign of weakness and incompetence. While executing a neo in Sudan would be difficult considering the absence of American forces nearby, the lack of action is seen as an extension of Afghan legacy.

The Biden administration has deliberately sabotaged America’s reputation and power abroad. The Afghanistan debacle was engineered to bring shame to our nation. As Mr. Flurry explained, it wasn’t incompetence—it was treason! Since that time, America’s enemies have been filling in the power vacuum.

Yet the events occurring today in Sudan echo the events of history. In 1884, Gen. Charles “Chinese” Gordon was dispatched to Sudan as governor general to oppose the rise of Mohammed Ahmad, the self-proclaimed mahdi who was building a caliphate in northeast Africa. The British government of Prime Minister William Gladstone preferred to abandon Sudan and focus on protecting Egypt, yet the British Empire’s reputation was at stake. Gordon himself said in a newspaper interview that the Empire “must either surrender absolutely to the mahdi or defend Khartoum at all hazards.” Queen Victoria agreed, telling Gladstone that “half measures are not enough.”

In the end Gladstone chose half measures, sending Gordon to Khartoum as a one man army to face the Ahmad. Gordon was a legend in Sudan, having dismantled the slave trade in the region seven years earlier. The mahdi’s army advanced and eventually laid siege to the city, cutting off the one telegram line to the outside world. Gordon could have saved himself, but by dying at the hands of the mahdi he would force the British government to save Sudan. On Jan. 25, 1885, the mahdi’s army took the city. Thousands were slaughtered, and Gordon was beheaded. The relief force sent by Gladstone arrived two days later.

The fall of Khartoum—and the spectacle of the world’s mightiest empire not able to save Gordon and the Sudanese people from a sheepherder-turned-mahdi—sent shock waves throughout Europe. Many on the Continent, including a rising Germany, saw this moment as the beginning of the end of the British Empire. However, Gordon did have his revenge. News of his death triggered the collapse of the Gladstone government. Over a decade later, the British extinguished the remnants of Ahmad’s force at Omdurman and tried to restore their lost honor. But the damage had been done. The weakness and compromise shown in Sudan was a significant step toward the First World War.

Khartoum has been the setting for the death knell of two world powers: the British Empire and the United States.

This decline was prophesied to happen because of the spiritual rebellion and weak leadership of these two nations. The same root cause of the British Empire’s decline is causing the decline of America. In response, the enemies of these nations were emboldened and ready to seize the reins of power. The late Herbert W. Armstrong explained the biblical reason for Britain’s and America’s rise and fall in The United States and Britain in Prophecy. Leviticus 26:19 prophesies how our leaders would lack the will to use the power God blessed the nation with. Similarly, Isaiah 3:1-7 foretell the removal of our military leaders; men like General Gordon are not around to salvage America’s reputation. The intensity of the curses and decline have increased for America.

The historic and prophetic parallels don’t end there. Britain’s weakness helped usher in a period of instability in North Africa dominated by a fanatical Islamic regime. The Bible prophesies in Daniel 11:39-42 that America’s waning influence will give rise to the “king of the south,” which will wreak havoc in North Africa. Iran is our modern-day mahdi empire, but this one will be armed with nuclear weapons. Mr. Flurry wrote in 2013, “Northern Africa is turning into a battleground with enormously important prophetic implications.” Iran’s belligerent “pushing” will trigger the next world war! Once again, disaster in Khartoum precipitates an unimaginable conflagration of destruction.

Sub-Saharan Africa may seem unrelated to your life. But events in this far-flung region are actually building to the most pivotal moment in the history of mankind: the return of Jesus Christ. This is why you need to follow these news events along with Bible prophecy. The decline of America is directly linked to global instability and the rise of Gentile powers.

Please read The United States and Britain in Prophecy and our newly updated booklet The King of the South to learn more about these important prophecies.