Sudan: FG to move stranded Nigerians through Egypt by road

Sudan: FG to move stranded Nigerians through Egypt by road

The Nigerian government is making preparations to evacuate about 5,500 stranded citizens out of Sudan through the Egyptian town of Luxor.

According to the Punch newspaper, the Federal Government was seeking Egypt’s support so that the stranded Nigerian citizens could be moved to Luxor.

The Director of Special Duties of the National Emergency Management Agency, who doubles as Chairman of NEMA’s Committee for the Evacuation of the Stranded Nigerians from Sudan, Dr Onimode Bandele, said the Federal Government was meeting with government officials in Egypt on how to move Nigerians out of Sudan through Egypt.

The Directory said this as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in an interview with Channels Television on Sunday, said the government had concluded arrangements to evacuate 5,500 Nigerians in Sudan by road.

He added that for security reasons, Nigeria will get authorisation from the Sudanese government before the evacuation.

The Federal Government had on Friday said intense fighting made it difficult for stranded Nigerian citizens to be evacuated from Sudan.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, stated that while the Nigerian Mission in Sudan and the NEMA had made arrangements to evacuate citizens, any flight during this period of war was impossible because all airports and land borders in Sudan were closed.

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However, giving an update on the rescue plan on Sunday, Bandele stated, “Let us make it clear that the situation in Sudan is an internal conflict. It is not Sudan versus another country. It is two factions against themselves. However, we are in touch with our ambassador in Sudan, and in fact, I spoke to him about two hours ago.

“The situation does not allow anybody to go in and pick any of their citizens. It may interest you to know that the governments of Qatar and France tried to move some of their citizens yesterday (Saturday) and they were attacked, so they have to beat a retreat.

“However, as I speak to you, the Director-General of NEMA, Mustapha Ahmed, is already in Cairo, and some 30 minutes ago he had a meeting with Ambassador Nura Rimi, the Nigerian Ambassador to Egypt.”

He noted, “The Nigerian government is exploring a diplomatic pact with Egypt, to see if Egypt can help us make arrangements to get into Sudan and move our people to safety at a town called Luxor in Egypt.

“There is another window too in Addis Ababa, however, that will be explored between Ambassador Rimi and the ambassador in Ethiopia. But the point I want to make here is that nobody who is thinking straight will just go into Sudan to move anybody.

“Mind you, some of those countries that we say had moved their citizens, some of them have fewer than 50 citizens in Sudan, but for Nigeria, if we do an evacuation today, it will be up to thousands.”

Over 400 people have died, thousands have been injured, and millions have been displaced as a result of the fighting between the Sudanese military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Force.

Several countries including the US, France , UK among others have been evacuating their diplomats after reaching agreements with the Sudanese army.

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