By Ahmed Ubandoma
The Federal Government on Friday said the Nigerian Air Force (NAF C-130H) plane and Airpeace plane have been cleared to fly Egyptian airspace for the evacuation of Nigerians stranded in Sudan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this followed the outbreak of war between the Sudanese armed forces and para-military Rapid Support Forces.
The government confirmed this in a joint press statement issued to newsmen by the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Janet Olisa, and that of Humanitarian Affairs, Dr Sani Gwarzo in Abuja.
”The NAF C-130H is scheduled to leave Abuja on April 28, 2023, to commence the airlift of the stranded students.
”Similarly, arrangements have been concluded to airlift all Nigerians that have already escaped on their own to safety in countries neighbouring Sudan.
”However, forty buses have been secured in Sudan to convey the students and other Nigerians from Khartoum to Aswan border in Egypt.
”Which is one of the identified safe reception borders, as at time of this statement, first batch of buses had already departed Khartoum,” the statement said.
The federal government however said the initial hitches during transportation of stranded Nigerian students from Khartoum where bus drivers stopped and dropped the students in the desert over non-payment transport fees have been resolved.
”Some Nigerian students who found their way to the Ethiopian border were allowed entry into Ethiopia, following the interventions of some Nigerian leaders.
”The students are in safe condition. Similarly, another group of Nigerians assisted by government of United Arab Emirate have arrived Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and arrangement are been made to return them back home,” it assured.
The government said it has already convened a Situation Room to monitor the evacuation exercise.
It stated that the situation room is chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.