Japan has begun operations to evacuate Japanese nationals from Sudan amid the growing conflict in the country, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Wednesday.

The government will send Self-Defense Forces personnel to evacuate Japanese citizens, the top government spokesman said in an unscheduled news conference.

Matsuno added that approximately 60 Japanese nationals are in Sudan at the moment, including personnel and staff from nongovernmental organizations, the Japanese Embassy and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The government is in touch with all of them, and they are safe but lack food and water amid frequent electrical blackouts.