Canada ends Sudan evacuation flights amid dangerous conditions

FILE PHOTO: NATO defence ministers' meeting in Brussels

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada has ended its operation evacuating people from the Wadi Seidna airfield, near Khartoum, in Sudan due to the dangerous and volatile conditions on the ground, Defence Minister Anita Anand said on Sunday.

"Because of the dangerous conditions, and in concert with decisions made by our allies, no further Canadian flights are planned from the Wadi Seidna airfield," Anand told a news conference.

Sudan's rival military forces accused each other of fresh violations of a ceasefire that is set to expire on Sunday as their deadly conflict continued for a third week despite warnings of a slide towards catastrophic civil war.

There remain in Sudan roughly 230 Canadian affected persons seeking assistance and information through Global Affairs Canada, Anand said.

Global Affairs Canada is the government department that manages Canada's diplomatic and consular relations.

Canada began its evacuation operation from Sudan on Thursday.

It has since conducted six flights, including two on Saturday, airlifting almost 550 people, while approximately 400 Canadians and permanent residents have been evacuated, including on Canadian and allied flights, Anand said.

The government is working with allies to find alternative departure options, including via Port Sudan, said Anand.

Britain has arranged an extra evacuation flight from Port Sudan in eastern Sudan which will depart on Monday, the government said on Sunday.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto; Editing by Matthew Lewis)