Sudan Crisis: 637 evacuees undergoing documentation ahead airlifting from Egypt to Nigeria – FG
By Our Correspondent
The first batch of 13 buses conveying 637 evacuees have arrived safe borders at Aswan, Egypt and are undergoing necessary documentation and clearance before admission into the Egyptian territory for their eventual evacuation to Nigeria, Daily Trust has learnt.
This was disclosed by Ministers of the Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk.
A joint statement signed by Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Amb. Janet Olisa and Permanent Secretary, Humanitarian ministry, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo said movement of the second batch of 29 buses would commence today.
According to the statement, the evacuees were advised to be at designated locations with only one luggage
The statement noted that contrary to insinuations on the social media, Embassy staff were on the ground in Khartoum to coordinate the evacuation exercise to the very end.
“However, students and other Nigerians awaiting evacuation from Khartoum, Sudan were advised to cooperate with them in order to ensure orderliness and proper documentation while embarking on the buses,” it added.
The statement noted that corporation by the evacuees would go a long way in speeding up the process and avoiding unnecessary delays with documentation and clearance upon arrival at the Aswan, Egypt.
“While the Federal Government empathizes with affected Nigerians, maintaining order amidst the desperate situation remains crucial to getting all interested Nigerians out of the war zone in record time before the expiration of the ceasefire, which has been extended by 72 hours.
“The general public is also advised to discountenance unverified information being circulated on the social media as some of them are either due to ignorance or sheer mischief. The outcry over the negotiated sum of $1.2 million for the buses hired for the exercise, is uncalled for.
“The amount in question, was negotiated in a condition of war and where there are competing demands for same bus services by other countries also trying to evacuate their citizens. Therefore, the cooperation and understanding of all and sundry is required to complement ongoing efforts aimed at ensuring the safe return of every Nigerian trapped in Sudan.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria seizes this opportunity to extend appreciation to friendly countries who have in one way or the other assisted in bringing succour to Nigerians fleeing the war in Sudan.
Particularly, Nigeria acknowledges the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for graciously assisting with the evacuation of eight Nigerians from Sudan to safety in its territory, from where they would be airlifted back to Nigeria.
“In the time being, the first batch of Nigerian evacuees who have arrived Aswan are expected to be airlifted to Nigeria in the coming hours by the Nigerian Air Force and Air Peace airline, who have been on standby for the operations,” the statement read.