FG sets up committee to rescue Nigerians trapped in Sudan

THE Federal Government has set up a committee to plan and oversee the evacuation of Nigerians trapped in Sudan.

The committee consists of professional emergency responders, as well as search and rescue experts, a statement released by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Saturday, April 22, said.

The committee will work towards rescuing citizens of the country from the civil unrest ravaging the country.

The ICIR has earlier 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.

NEMA, in a statement released by the Head of Press Unit, Manzo Ezekiel, quoted the Director General, Mustapha Ahmed, as saying that the committee would evaluate the situation and work towards evacuating Nigerians safely.

“The committee will constantly evaluate the situation and seek the safest way to evacuate the Nigerian citizens, even if it is through a country neighbouring Sudan.

“The current emergency in Sudan is very complex, with fighting between warring factions and all airports and land borders closed. NEMA is working assiduously with all its partners and is constantly compiling updated information on the situation.”

The NEMA boss added that the agency is in constant communication with all relevant partners including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Nigerian Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) and security agencies “while seeking for an appropriate window of opportunity to evacuate all stranded Nigerians back home in a safe and dignified manner”.

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.






     

     

    As a result, many Nigerians are trapped in the country. About 10,000 Nigerian students study in the country and thousands of others are engaged in businesses.

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

    The ICIR reported that the Chairperson of NiDCOM, Abuja Dabiri-Erewa, earlier said the Federal Government would not be able to evacuate Nigerians trapped in Sudan due to the risks involved in flight operations in the country.

    “The Nigerian Mission in Sudan and NEMA have put in place arrangements to evacuate Nigerian students and other Nigerian citizens stranded in Sudan. The tense situation makes it gravely risky and impossible for any flight at this point. Aircrafts parked at the airport in the country were burnt yesterday morning,” Dabiri-Erewa said in a statement signed by Gabriel Odu of the Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit of NIDCOM, on Friday.

    Beloved John is an investigative reporter with International Centre for Investigative Reporting.

    You can reach her via: [email protected]

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