New Delhi: Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry on Saturday said it has evacuated Indian citizens along with citizens of 11 other countries. The ministry said in a statement on Twitter that the Royal Saudi Naval Forces evacuated 66 civilians from twelve friendly countries, including Indians living in Sudan.
Nations include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Canada, Tunisia, Egypt, Bulgaria, Philippines, Kuwait and Burkina Faso. The statement further said that the Saudi Foreign Ministry is helping the evacuated citizens to return to their country.
PM Modi chairs meeting of Indians in Sudan
Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assessed the situation in Sudan, with a special focus on the safety and security of over 3,000 Indian nationals who are currently scattered in the conflict-torn country.
According to an official statement, Modi at a high-level meeting directed the authorities concerned to remain vigilant, closely monitor the developments in Sudan and assess the security of Indian nationals there.
The Prime Minister directed the development of contingency evacuation plans keeping in view the rapidly changing security scenario and the feasibility of various alternatives. “During the meeting, Prime Minister Modi assessed the recent developments in Sudan and received a first-hand report on the situation on the ground,” the statement said.
How did the Sudan conflict unfold?
Thousands of civilians have fled Sudan’s capital Khartoum as fighting escalated in the region. According to reports, so far more than 350 people, including one Indian, have been killed in the fighting.
Fighting has intensified between forces loyal to Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Force (RSF).
The conflict began after a coup in 2021 between Sudan’s military leader and his deputy in the ruling council, derailing plans for a transition to a civilian democracy after the fall of longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019. Elections were about to happen. Held by the end of 2023.