Riyadh: Some Indian nationals were evacuated among 66 citizens from 12 nations from the conflict-hit Sudan to Saudi Arabia. The evacuation came days after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke to his Saudi Arabia counterpart and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday chaired a high-level meeting to review the security situation in Sudan.
Sudan ministry, in a statement, announced the “safe arrival” of 91 Saudi citizens and around 66 nationals representing the following nationalities Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan, India, Bulgaria, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Canada, and Burkina, Faso.
Sudan is facing violence due to fighting between the army and the paramilitary forces. There are reports of violence even amid a 72-hour ceasefire.
The statement read, “In the implementation of the directives of the Kingdoms Leadership, we are pleased to announce the safe arrival of the citizens of the Kingdom who were evacuated from the Republic of Sudan as well as several nationals of brotherly and friendly countries, including diplomats and international officials, who arrived in an evacuation operation carried out by the Royal Saudi Naval Forces with the support of various branches of the armed forces.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the security situation in Sudan via videoconferencing on Friday.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Modi assessed the most recent developments in Sudan and received a first-hand report of the conditions on the ground, with a specific focus on the safety of over 3,000 Indian citizens presently located throughout the country.
The Prime Minister expressed his condolences on the passing away of an Indian national who tragically fell victim to a stray bullet last week.
Prime Minister Modi instructed all relevant officials to remain vigilant, closely monitoring developments and continuously evaluating the safety of Indian nationals in Sudan and extending them all possible assistance.
The Prime Minister further directed the preparation of contingency evacuation plans, accounting for the rapidly shifting security landscape and the viability of various options.
The Prime Minister also emphasized the importance of maintaining close communication with neighbouring countries in the region, as well as those with significant numbers of citizens in Sudan.
Earlier, Jaishankar had a meeting on April 20 met with UN SecretaryGeneral Antonio Guterres in New York and discussed the developments in Sudan.
“We had a very good meeting. Most of our meeting was on the Sudan situation. We also discussed the G20, and Ukraine conflict, but essentially it was about Sudan,” Jaishankar told ANI.
Jaishankar said that the Indian government is in continuous touch with its citizens stuck in Sudan. “Our team in Delhi is in continuous touch with the Indians in Sudan, advising them, saying we know it’s very difficult for everybody but keep calm and don’t take unnecessary risk. I hope that the efforts will yield something very soon,” the EAM said.
Fighting has been raging between forces loyal to Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
The conflict began since a coup in 2021 between Sudan’s military leader and his deputy on the ruling council erupted derailing a plan for a transition to a civilian democracy after the fall of longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019. Elections were supposed to be held by the end of 2023.