Sudan conflict: FG spends $1.2m to evacuate stranded Nigerians to Cairo, Onyeama, NiDCOM give update

Sudan violence

The Federal Government, on Wednesday, in Abuja said it has spent $1.2m to deploy 40 buses to evacuate at least 2,400 stranded Nigerians out of Sudan.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, disclosed this to State House correspondents shortly after this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chambers of Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

Onyeama said the high cost of the evacuation was to provide security cover for the eight-hour journey from Luxol to Cairo and the eleven-hour trip from Aswan to Cairo, Egypt.

Although the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces agreed to halt hostilities at midnight Monday, local media reports that fighting had resumed even as a hospital was shelled on Wednesday.

While noting that no Nigerian lost their lives in the conflict, Onyeama said there were no talks about alternative plans for continued education for the evacuees, most of whom are students of the University of Khartoum.

NiDCOM

At least 40 buses were sent to move Nigerians out of Khartoum and other troubled parts of Sudan early Wednesday.

The Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission explained that the evacuation planned for Tuesday failed due to logistic challenges.

Chairperson of the Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, confirmed that the new travel plans were finalised Tuesday night.

She tweeted, “Last night, the Nigeria Evacuation team in Sudan received some buses to transport Nigerian Students to nearby borders in Egypt, before airlifting them to Nigeria, this has been sorted by the Federal Government through @nemanigeria and the Nigerian Embassy in Sudan.

“More buses are arriving this morning and the stranded students will depart today.”

The NiDCOM boss disclosed that the students were being put on buses according to their states of origin. “For ease of conveying the students, they were put on the buses according to their states of origin” Dabiri-Erewa said.

It was not yet clear the number of Nigerians that have moved so far, but the NiDCOM Chair added that two more busses from another location (El-Razy University) were now ready to also depart, emphasizing that the first set took off from International University for Africa.

In the video posted by the NiDCOM boss, a student could be heard speaking in Hausa, but translated by our correspondent that, “This is the first of vehicles from the town Sudan to Cairo and to Nigeria. Now they are entering vehicles. These vehicles are for Kaduna, Taraba and Yobe people.

“The other cars are for Katsina and Kano. They will be bringing out the vehicle from inside the park. All are Kano people waiting for their vehicles to come. This is what is happening presently in a town in Sudan.”

Finally, Dabiri-Erewa said, “Our next update, by God’s grace, will be when they arrive their location. Please put them in prayers.”