No fewer than 637 stranded Nigerians who have been evacuated from war-zone Sudan are undergoing necessary documentation and clearance before admission into Egyptian territory for eventual airlifting to Nigeria.
Federal Government disclosed this via a joint statement issued by the Ministers of Federal Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development who co-Chaired the Situation Room held yesterday, Friday, 28 April 28, 2023.
The Minister’s affirmed that the first batch of 13 buses conveying 637 evacuees arrived at the identified safe borders at Aswan, Egypt yesterday.
According to the joint statement jointly signed by the Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Janet Olisa and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo.
They assured that the “movement of the second batch of 29 buses will commence on Saturday, April 29, 2023.
“The evacuees are advised to be at the designated locations with only one luggage.
“Contrary to insinuations on social media, Embassy staff are very much on the ground in Khartoum to coordinate the evacuation exercise to the very end.
“The students and other Nigerians awaiting evacuation from Khartoum, Sudan are therefore advised to cooperate with them in order to ensure orderliness and proper documentation while embarking on the buses.
“This will go a long way in speeding up the process and avoiding unnecessary delays with documentation and clearance upon arrival at Aswan, Egypt.
“While the Federal Government empathizes with affected Nigerians, maintaining order amidst the desperate situation remains crucial to getting all interested Nigerians out of the war zone in record time before the expiration of the ceasefire, which has been extended by 72 hours.
“The general public is also advised to discountenance unverified information being circulated on social media as some of them are either due to ignorance or sheer mischief.
“The outcry over the negotiated sum of $1.2 million for the buses hired for the exercise is uncalled for.
“The amount in question was negotiated in a condition of war and where there are competing demands for the same bus services by other countries also trying to evacuate their citizens.
“Therefore, the cooperation and understanding of all and sundry are required to complement ongoing efforts aimed at ensuring the safe return of every Nigerian trapped in Sudan.
“The federal government of Nigeria seizes this opportunity to extend appreciation to friendly countries who have in one way or the other assisted in bringing succour to Nigerians fleeing the war in Sudan.
“Particularly, Nigeria acknowledges the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for graciously assisting with the evacuation of eight Nigerians from Sudan to safety in its territory, from where they would be airlifted back to Nigeria.
“In the time being, the first batch of Nigerian evacuees who have arrived at Aswan are expected to be airlifted to Nigeria in the coming hours by the Nigerian Air Force and Air Peace airline, who have been on standby for the operations.”