The federal government has said that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Air Peace and other airlines have received clearance to fly to Egypt from Abuja to commence the airlifting of stranded Nigerians from Sudan
This was contained in a joint press release from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), jointly signed by Amb. Janet Olisa, Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary and the Permanent Secretary, FMHADMSD, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo.
The statement revealed that, on the evacuation of Nigerians caught up in the on-going crisis in Sudan, as at the time of the release of the statement, the 1st batch of buses had already departed Khartoum.
“The 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 Nigerian are airlifted back to Nigeria.
“The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Air Peace and other Airlines have received clearance to fly to Egypt. The NAF C-130H is scheduled to leave Abuja to commence the airlifting of the evacuees. Similarly, arrangements are being concluded to airlift all Nigerians that have already escaped on their own to safety in other countries neighbouring Sudan.
“Some Nigerian students who found their way to the Ethiopian border on 22nd April, 2023 and got stranded were allowed entry into Ethiopia on 24th April, 2023 following the intervention of some Nigerian leaders. The students are safe and in good condition and have already made personal travel arrangements to return to Nigeria.
“Seizing the window of the three day United States negotiated ceasefire in Sudan, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR approved the immediate deployment of both human and financial resources towards the evacuation of Nigerians caught up in the ongoing crisis in Sudan.
“Similarly, another group of Nigerians assisted by the Government of United Arab Emirates (UAE) arrived Jeddah and are being taken care of by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the Nigerian Embassy in KSA. Arrangements are being made to bring them back home safely.
“The initial hitches encountered during the commencement of the exercise, including incidents of bus drivers stopping in the desert due to non-payment have been resolved. The buses have continued towards the Egyptian border. The evacuation exercise is progressing and will continue until all stranded Nigerians are brought back home safely.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, on Thursday, confirmed the arrival of the first set of stranded Nigerians in Sudan at the Aswan border in Egypt.
Dabiri-Erewa, who confirmed the development in a post on Twitter, said the border was already closed when the students got there, adding that they would proceed to the airport in the morning.
“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,” the tweet read partly.