4000 Indian citizens stranded in Sudan; Air Force, Navy on standby for evacuation

4000 Indian citizens stranded in Sudan; Air Force, Navy on standby for evacuation

India has put two C-130J military transport aircraft on standby in Jeddah while an Indian Navy ship has reached a key port in the region as part of the government's plans to evacuate stranded Indians.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Monday, April 24, 2023, 08:30 AM IST
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4000 Indian citizens stranded in Sudan; Air Force, Navy on standby for evacuation |

The US military airlifted its embassy officials out of Sudan on Sunday and so did the British in what Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described as a "complex and rapid" operation. Other governments, including India, too were in a scramble to evacuate their diplomatic staff and citizens as rival generals battled for control of Africa's third-largest country for a ninth day.

But even as the diplomatic staff was ferried out of strife-torn Khartoum, the Sudanese capital where thick black smoke filled the sky over Khartoum's airport, American officials said it was still too dangerous to carry out a government-coordinated mass evacuation of private citizens.

India has no less than 4,000 citizens in Sudan and most of them are in Khartoum. India has put two C-130J military transport aircraft on standby in Jeddah while an Indian Navy ship has reached a key port in the region as part of the government's plans to evacuate stranded Indians.

MEA informs about the volatile situation in Sudan

Giving out the details, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said contingency plans have been put in place but any movement on the ground would depend on the security situation. It said the security situation in Sudan continues to be “volatile” with reports of fierce fighting coming from various locations.

The MEA said the Sudanese airspace currently remains closed for all foreign aircraft and overland movement also has risks and logistical challenges. Not only is the airspace closed it is being used by the Sudanese military to bomb its own people. Road travel from the capital involves considerable risk. Khartoum is 600 miles from the border with Egypt and 525 miles from Port Sudan on the Red Sea.

Nonetheless, France, Greece and other European countries said they were organizing evacuations for both embassy employees and nationals, along with some citizens of allied countries.

Evacuation plans of different countries

The Greek foreign minister said the country had dispatched aircraft and Special Forces to Egypt, in preparation for evacuation of 120 Greek and Cypriot nationals from Khartoum. Most of them have sought shelter in recent days at a Greek Orthodox cathedral in the capital.

The Netherlands has sent two air force Hercules C-130 planes and an Airbus A330 to Jordan ahead of a possible rescue mission.

Italy has dispatched military jets to the Gulf of Aden nation of Djibouti to prepare for the evacuation of its 140 Italian nationals, many of whom have already taken refuge in the embassy.

India has aircraft, ship on standby but airspace is closed over Khartoum; road travel is treacherous, city is 600 miles from the Egyptian border and 525 miles from Port Sudan on Red Sea; US, British diplomats airlifted but citizens can’t be evacuated.

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