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SUDAN WAR: First batch of Nigerian students arrive Egypt amidst ceasefire extension

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The first set of buses conveying Nigerian students from the war-torn country of Sudan have arrived in Egypt. The students will be airlifted from Egypt to Nigeria by the Nigerian Air Force, Air Peace, and other airlines.

Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa disclosed this via her Twitter handle.

Dabiri-Erewa said each of the 13 buses which arrived at the Aswan border in Egypt conveying about 60 persons, were the first batch out of the 40 buses being arranged by the federal government to evacuate stranded students from Sudan.

“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,” she said in the tweet.

According to a statement jointly signed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, the airlines from Nigeria had received clearance to fly to Egypt and evacuate the students.

“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 Friday April 28,  to commence the airlifting of the evacuees,” the statement read.

Statement from Ministry on Nigerian Students being evacuated from Sudan

Statement from Ministry of Nigeria Students being evacuated from Sudan

The ministries also disclosed that arrangements were in progress to airlift other Nigerians who had already escaped Sudan to other neighboring countries.

 Sudan war: The facts and stats

  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), no less than 410 persons have been killed with over 3500 injured in the ongoing war.
  • The war which broke out April 25 in the country’s capital, Khartoum started as a result of a power struggle between the country’s military force led by General Abdel Fatah al-Burhan and the paramilitary force called the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) under the leadership of General Mohammed Hamdan Dagloalso known as Hemedati
  • Until recently, both leaders were allies. They worked together in 2019 to overthrow Sudan’s former dictatorial leader, Omar al-Bashir, who ruled over the country for three decades
  •  After that coup, a power-sharing government was formed, made up of civilian and military groups. The plan was for the government to run Sudan for a few years and oversee a transition to civilian rule. However, both generals disagree on who would be subordinate to the other, and how quickly the RSF would be incorporated into the Sudanese military, this led to the war
  •  International efforts are underway to evacuate foreign nationals stranded in Sudan.
  • The ceasefire has been extended for another 72-hours, though the fighting continues

Sudan on the map

Sudan is home to Nigeria’s largest Diaspora population with over five million Sudanese of Nigerian origin residing in the country. Thousands of these residents are students studying in Sudan. Authorities on Monday said that plans are underway to evacuate at least 3500 students to Egypt. 

The Chairman of the Nigeria in Diaspora Commission during an interview with Channels TV expressed hope that another set of buses will be released to pick up Nigerians.

’Another set of buses hopefully will be released too. But the transporters are insisting that they want their cash before they will renew the next set of buses,” she said.

It will be recalled that on Thursday during the journey to Aswan, a video circulated on social media, wherein students complained of being abandoned in the desert due to non-payment of fees to the bus operators by the Federal Government.

Reacting to this statement, the embassy of Nigeria in Sudan informed that the federal government was making arrangements to balance the transport operators but was experiencing delays as a result of the difficulties of getting money into Khartoum.

The embassy said arrangements were in place to send the balance to the operators in Egypt so that other buses could arrive and pick up the remaining students.

Meanwhile, some Nigerian students have started gathering money among themselves to move out of the state capital. 

In an interview with Channels TV’s Politics Today, one of the Nigerian students in Sudan, Abubakar Sadiq, disclosed that his colleagues are gathering money to transport themselves to Egypt.

“There is no date because we didn’t receive any information from the Embassy. And today also, there is zero presence of the embassy, so we don’t know actually. Right now students are planning to gather their money to transport themselves to Egypt,” Sadiq said.


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