FG uses vehicles to evacuate 5,500 students, others from Sudan - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Sunday, April 23, 2023

FG uses vehicles to evacuate 5,500 students, others from Sudan

The Federal Government has said that more than 5,500 stranded students and other Nigerians in crisis-laden Sudan will be evacuated by road.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, made this known as the new development after one week of war between Sudanese army and the paramilitary.

Speaking on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today on Sunday, the minister disclosed that his ministry has been briefed that an estimated 5,500 citizens, which included students, workers and others are ready for the evacuation.

Onyeama stated that the evacuation plan to use vehicles became crucial following the attack on the flight of the French rescue team in Sudan.

He said, “We have been given the cost estimate and all the details. They gave us a figure of 5,500 who are ready for evacuation. Obviously, what you need in a situation like this is a place where everybody can congregate before you start moving them out.

“Because the airports, as you pointed out in your report, is out of commission. The only viable way out is by road. Of course, it’s totally safe. So we want to require the government to provide some security and a safe corridor out.

“Our situation is particularly challenging because the numbers are so great. Some of the countries like the US and European countries have started evacuating. But what they’ve been evacuating were actually their diplomatic staff.

“They haven’t been able to start evacuating their citizens there. We can’t evacuate all our diplomatic staff at the moment because they need to also coordinate the evacuation of all those students that we’re talking about.”

Onyeama further said the ministry is taking careful steps not to endanger the lives of stranded Nigerians by soliciting security protection from the Sudanese authorities.

According to him, the three options available to accomplish the rescue mission include the Egyptian border, Port Sudan, and the Ethiopian border.

“So essentially, where we are at the moment is trying to get the authorization from the Sudanese government to undertake this long journey and for them to provide some security,” he stated.

“Now we don’t want to take any risk or risk the lives of any Nigerian. Because from what we saw yesterday, for instance, how the French in trying to evacuate their citizens came under fire. We don’t want to expose our brothers and sisters to that danger as well.

“We are doing everything we can to get the requisite approval for the Sudanese government at the very highest level. I was in touch today with somebody in the Office of the President and made a formal request to have a safe corridor to evacuate our people. And they confirmed that they had received it and they would be giving us attention.

“The three options available to us include the Egyptian border, Port Sudan and Ethiopian border.”

Source: Vanguard 

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