First batch of Nigerian evacuees from Sudan expected to arrive Abuja today

BARRING any last-minute hitch, the first batch of Nigerian students returning from Sudan will arrive Abuja today, Wednesday, May 3.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed this in an update on Wednesday morning.

The processing of Nigerian evacuees from Sudan stranded in Egypt commenced on Tuesday, May 2, after an initial denial of passage by the Egyptian authorities.

However, the Egyptian border was opened, albeit with stringent conditions, after President Muhammadu Buhari’s intervention with the Egyptian President.

The approval paved the way for the deployment of a support team from the Nigerian Air Force to complement Air Peace, the airline that will be airlifting the evacuees.

“Nigeria Embassy in Egypt has moved all evacuees from the Sudan side to the Egypt side of the Arqeel border, with priority given to the females. They are now being prepared for their departure to Abuja through Aswan Airport,” Dabiri-Erewa said.

Part of the conditions given by Egypt for passage include details and schedules of the aircraft, capacity of the aircraft, and a strong pledge that once Nigerians depart the border, they would be conveyed to the designated airport.

Other conditions include a comprehensive list of the evacuees with passport numbers, valid travel documents, and the presence of Nigerian government officials at the point of embarkation.

The Nigerian students in Sudan had left Khartoum, the country’s capital, for Aswan, Egypt, on Wednesday, April 26, by road.

The journey had become necessary after numerous calls for a ceasefire between the warring parties had failed to yield results, frustrating efforts of the Nigerian and other governments to airlift citizens directly from Sudan.




    Sudan eventually declared a ceasefire, although fighting had continued across the country.

    The students arrived at the Egyptian border on Thursday, April 27, hoping to proceed to the Aswan airport, from where they would be airlifted to Abuja, Nigeria.

    For several days, they were denied access to the country by the Egyptian authorities, who demanded visa processing fees before the borders could be opened.

    However, they are set to return to Nigeria, after the Federal Government and the Egyptian authorities reached an agreement on the procedure for their movement through the North African country.

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