THE first batch of Nigerian students being evacuated from Sudan arrived at the Aswan border in Egypt on Thursday, April 27.
Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) Abike Dabiri-Erewa disclosed this via her Twitter handle on Thursday night.
“The first set has arrived at the Aswan border in Egypt, but the border is already closed. They will leave early in the morning and then proceed to the airport,” the tweet said.
The students had left Khartoum, the Sudan capital, by road for Aswan, early on Wednesday, April 28. They are to be airlifted from Egypt to Nigeria.
The Sudan crisis had frustrated the Nigerian government’s efforts to airlift the stranded students directly from Khartoum.
The Nigerian government, on Thursday, April 27, disclosed that the Egyptian authorities had granted landing permits to the Nigerian Airforce and airlines, including Air Peace, to evacuate the students.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
“Nigerian Mission in Egypt is liaising with the Egyptian authorities to facilitate the evacuation exercise by providing emergency entry documents and holding shelters until the stranded Nigerians are airlifted back to Nigeria.
“The Nigerian Air Force, Air Peace and other Airlines have received clearance to fly to Egypt. The NAF C-130H is scheduled to leave Abuja tomorrow, 28th April, 2023, to commence the airlifting of the evacuees,” the statement read.
Thousands of foreigners, including at least 10 000 Nigerian students and over five million Sudanese of Nigerian origin, were trapped in Sudan, Northeastern Africa, a week after intense fighting between two rival forces 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.
During the journey to Aswan, a video circulated on social media on Thursday, in which students complained of being abandoned in the desert due to non-payment of fees to the bus operators by the Federal Government.
In one of the videos, a lady believed to be one of the students said the transporters abandoned them in the desert for hours without food and water.
However, Dabiri-Erewa confirmed that the issues were settled and the journey to Egypt from Sudan had continued.