NIGERIAN students left stranded as a result of the ongoing war in Sudan on Wednesday, April 26, began their journey back home.
Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed that the students would be ferried in buses to Egypt before taking a flight to Nigeria. The evacuation is being supervised by Nigerian mission officials in Sudan.
The students will spend approximately 28 hours on the road to cover a distance of 2032 kilometres. From Egypt, they will be airlifted to Nigeria, according to arrangements made.
Dabiri-Erewa said in a tweet: “Let’s remember them in our prayers as they journey home. War is a terrible thing!!”
Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, stated earlier during a television programme that the students would be evacuated by road as airports were being bombed.
Onyeama said about 5,500 students had already indicated interest in returning home.
Meanwhile, there are no signs that the warring parties in Sudan are ready to seriously negotiate an end to fighting, the United Nations (UN) envoy to Sudan Volker Perthes told the Security Council meeting in New York City on Tuesday, April 25.
“There is yet no unequivocal sign that either side is ready to seriously negotiate, suggesting that both think that securing a military victory over the other is possible,” Perthes said.
More than 420 people have been killed and over 3,700 others have been wounded in the conflict, according to the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office.
Of those killed, at least 273 are believed to be civilians, while 1,579 non-combatants are among the injured, according to the Sudan Doctors’ Syndicate, a pro-democracy group monitoring casualties.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, described the violence and chaos in Sudan as “heartbreaking” and warned the UN meeting on Tuesday that the fighting could spread to other countries in the region.
On Tuesday, it was reported that one American and five UN staffers were among the hundreds that have been killed amid the ongoing conflict, according to officials.
“Sudan borders seven countries, all of which have either been involved in conflict or seen serious civil unrest over the past decade,” Guterres said.
“The power struggle in Sudan is not only putting that country’s future at risk. It is lighting a fuse that could detonate across borders, causing immense suffering for years, and setting development back by decades.”