The Federal Government has said that 637 Nigerian evacuated from troubled Sudan had arrived the identified safe borders at Aswan, Egypt and are undergoing necessary documentation and clearance before admission into the Egyptian territory for their eventual evacuation to Nigeria, with the second batch of the evacuees in 29 buses slated for Saturday.
A statement jointly issued on Saturday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development on the evacuation of Nigerians caught up in the ongoing crisis in Sudan, said the information was made available to the Situation Room on Friday.
The statement read that: “The Ministers noted that the first batch of 13 buses conveying 637 evacuees had arrived the identified safe borders at Aswan, Egypt and are undergoing necessary documentation and clearance before admission into the Egyptian territory for their eventual evacuation to Nigeria.
“The movement of the second batch of 29 buses will commence on Saturday, 29th April, 2023. The evacuees are advised to be at the designated locations with only one luggage. Contrary to insinuations on the social media, Embassy staff are very much on 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 the Aswan, Egypt.”
The statement which was jointly signed by Amb. Janet Olisa, and Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo said While the Federal Government empathizes with affected Nigerians, insisted that 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 the social media as “some of them are either due to ignorance or sheer mischief,” the statement insisted that the outcry over the negotiated sum of $1.2 million for the buses hired for the exercise, is uncalled for.
It noted that the amount in question, was negotiated in a condition of war and where there are competing demands for same bus services by other countries also trying to evacuate their citizens, stating that: “Therefore, the cooperation and understanding of all and sundry is required to complement ongoing efforts aimed at ensuring the safe return of every Nigerian trapped in Sudan.”
It added that: “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 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.”