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Nigeria talks as Uganda, Saudi, France, US evacuate citizens from Sudan

Nigeria talks as Uganda, Saudi, France, US evacuate citizens from Sudan

The Nigerian government is still paying lip service to the evacuation of its citizens, especially students, from Sudan, as war rages on.

While other countries have exhibited serious commitment to the safety of their trapped citizens, the government in Nigeria first said it was impossible to evacuate the students as result of bombings in some airports in the troubled nation.

Meanwhile, Sudan’s de facto president and commander-in-chief of the army, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, had given a nod to serious countries to evacuate their citizens and diplomatic representatives from the embattled country.

In the meantime, the Nigerian government is still busy talking, with little or no visible action taken.

An army spokesman in Sudan said in a statement on Saturday that the United States, Britain, France and China would begin evacuating from the capital Khartoum “in the coming hours” using military transport aircraft.

Al-Burhan has pledged to “facilitate and guarantee” the evacuation and to provide the countries with “the necessary support to ensure this,” the spokesman said.

Saudi Arabia

A Saudi Arabian delegation has already been evacuated from the eastern city of Port Sudan, he said, adding that a Jordanian delegation was also to be flown out of Port Sudan later on Saturday.

Uganda

The Ugandan authorities have finalised plans to evacuate its nationals who are trapped in the deadly military clashes in Sudan.

John Mulimba, the country’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in charge of regional cooperation, told Xinhua by telephone that the government has contacted the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to assist in the evacuation of Ugandan workers, students, patients and nationals on transit in the country.

United States

US troops swooped in on helicopters to evacuate embassy staff from Sudan’s battle-torn capital, President Joe Biden announced Sunday, as other nations sought to help their citizens escape deadly fighting between rival generals.

US president, Joe Biden, who said the US military “conducted an operation” to extract US government personnel, called for an immediate ceasefire and condemned the deadly violence.

“It’s unconscionable and it must stop,” he said in a statement.

Just over 100 US special operations troops took part in the rescue to extract fewer than 100 people, which saw three Chinook helicopters fly from Djibouti, staying on the ground in Khartoum for less than an hour.

France

France on Sunday also launched evacuation operations from the northeast African nation, where fighting has entered its second week.

France’s foreign ministry said Sunday a “rapid evacuation operation” had begun, and that European citizens and those from “allied partner countries” would also be assisted, without giving further details.

Nigeria

The Nigerian government said it is still consulting on the next line of action regarding evacuation of Nigerians in Sudan.

The government said this in response to the request made by Nigerian students in Sudan.

In a statement, Gabriel Odu, a spokesman for the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), said the agency was in consultation with the “National Emergency Management Agency, which is in charge of emergency evacuations, and also with the Nigerian mission in Sudan and other relevant agencies”.

“The Chairman/CEO, NiDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, urged all Nigerian students in Sudan as well as Nigerians living in Sudan to be security conscious and calm.”

The army was in control of all airports in the country except those in Khartoum and the town of Njala in the South Dafur region, al-Burhan told Arabic television station Al-Arabiya.

The country’s de facto president said he remained in control of the army and would only let his rival and former deputy Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, the leader of the powerful paramilitary group RSF, get away “in a coffin.”

Fighting broke out in Sudan about a week ago between the country’s two most powerful generals and their respective military units.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), at least 413 people have lost their lives and more than 3,500 have been injured since the fighting began.

The airport in the capital Khartoum has been at the centre of the fighting and was therefore inaccessible. Diplomats have been trying for days to secure a resilient ceasefire for the evacuation of foreign citizens.

After a brief ceasefire on Friday due to the Muslim Eid al-Fitr celebrations that mark the end of Ramadan, fighting continued overnight.

 

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Faruk Khalil
Faruk Khalilhttps://nigeriansketch.com/
Khalil Faruk (Deputy Editor-in-Chief), has a Bachelors and Master's degree in Political Science and has worked as a reporter, features editor and Deputy Editor-in-Chief respectively in a leading Nigerian daily. He has undergone trainings in journalism, photo journalism and online journalism within and outside Nigeria.

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