Buses deployed for evacuation of Nigerian students arrive in Sudan

BUSES deployed by the Nigerian government have arrived the designated meeting point at International University of Africa in Khartoum to evacuate Nigerian students who are stranded in Sudan.

According to a report by News Point Nigeria and shared by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Tuesday, April 25,  a set of five 200-seater buses drove into the venue at exactly 7:30 pm local time (5:30pm – Nigerian time) with two Hilux trucks of security personnel and a small bus of embassy officials.

A student leader who spoke with News Point Nigeria confirmed the development, noting that the officials have begun the clearance and verification of students at the venue.

He also added that some students are ready to board.

“We are discussing giving out 60 per cent of the first available seats to the female students and children while the male students take up the remaining 40 per cent.

“We are told that more buses are coming and the officials also brought some snacks and water too. On this note, we wish to sincerely thank them for this gesture and their efforts toward ensuring that we returned home safe”, the student stated.

The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission Abike Dabiri-Erewa also confirmed this development via her twitter handle late Tuesday night.

She said that NEMA and the Nigeria mission, Sudan have sorted out some logistics delay, stressing that more buses are now arriving.

Speaking to News Point Nigeria before the arrival of the buses, an evacuation committee member said it’s risky to transport huge number of students from one point to another in present day Sudan without the assistance and cooperation of both warring troops.

“There are basically two reasons for the delay of the buses to the venue. One, we are yet to get clearance from both authorities as it is risky to move the students without such clearance and then the mode of payment to the bus company took a while to clear.

“But I assure you, the evacuation of the students will begin in a short while as the payment has cleared and we have secured clearance from both warring generals.

“The NEMA DG is already in Cairo and some staffs are at the Egyptian border to help ease their entry as we speak. Also, more committee members and officials are airborne to Egypt all in an effort to ensure the safe return of all Nigerians in Sudan”, the committee member explained.

The ICIR had earlier reported that the Federal Government set up a committee to plan and oversee the evacuation of Nigerians trapped in Sudan.

The committee, which consists of professional emergency responders, as well as search and rescue experts, will work towards rescuing citizens of the country from the civil unrest ravaging the country.

    Meanwhile, On April 21, The ICIR reported that the non-adherence to calls for ceasefire by the warring parties — the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) — has made the evacuation of Nigerian nationals in the country difficult.

    The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo have been fighting for control of the country since February 15.

    This has, however, resorted to many Nigerians are trapped in the country. About 10,000 Nigerian students study in the country and thousands of others are engaged in businesses.

    The World Health Organization (WHO), disclosed that more than 400 people have been killed and over 3,500 others have been hurt so far due to the crisis.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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