Sudan crisis: Egypt opens border for stranded Nigerians

THE Egyptian authorities have opened the country’s borders, granting access to Nigerians being evacuated from Sudan.

Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) Abike Dabiri-Erewa disclosed this via her official Twitter handle on Monday, May 1.

“The border has just been opened, (with stringent conditions) after President Buhari’s intervention with the Egyptian President. So, the processing of evacuees by the Nigerian Embassy in Egypt will begin,” she tweeted.

The ICIR reported that Buhari was in talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, over the issue of Nigerians who have been stuck at the Egyptian border for days.

Nigerians 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.






     

     

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

    The ICIR also learnt that the Federal Government was considering changing the route through which the second batch of Nigerians will be evacuated from Sudan due to the hassles experienced at the Egyptian border.

    Thousands of foreigners, including at least 10,000 Nigerian students and over five million Sudanese of Nigerian origin, were trapped in Sudan after intense fighting between two rival forces in the country broke out.

    According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), at least 400 people have died in the fighting, and almost 3,500 more have been wounded in Khartoum, the western region of Darfur and other states.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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