Canadians should avoid all travel to Sudan as the country is currently being rocked by a military coup deposing their longtime leader, Omar al-Bashir.
Global Affairs Canada has updated its travel advisory for the country to the highest possible level of warning, citing the “unstable security situation throughout the country” and has also closed the Canadian embassy in Khartoum, the capital, until further notice.
“Protests intensified in Khartoum following a military coup d’état that took place on April 11, 2019,” the travel warning said.
“The security situation could deteriorate quickly.”
WATCH: Terrifying UCG footage shows moments gunshots ring outside defence ministry in Khartoum
It is not known at this point how many Canadians may be in Sudan already but Global Affairs Canada noted there are likely to be traffic and transportation disruptions, as well as possible blockages of the roads to the airport.
Canadians are advised to shelter in place and avoid areas where civil unrest is occurring.
Live fire is a possibility as security forces respond to demonstrations, the warning also noted, adding that a state of emergency is in effect in the country.
WATCH: Thousands of people flocked to an anti-government protest outside the defence ministry in Khartoum
Andrew Leslie, parliamentary secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, told reporters when asked about the situation that the focus right now for the government is on the Canadians who are in Sudan.
“We are deeply concerned of what’s going on there. The violence is completely unacceptable and as I mentioned we’re monitoring the situation very closely,” he said. “Our immediate focus is the attention and due diligence required to make sure Canadian citizens, or citizens who have dual citizenship are safe and sound and accounted for. That’s where all our energies are right now.”
Protests in the country continue amid concerns that the coup, which imposes a state of emergency for three months and no elections for another two years, will not bring about the desired political and economic changes.
Unrest began in December 2018 over rising bread prices and quickly prompted calls for a new government from critics of al-Bashir.
He remains detained by the military, which has seized power.