…the evacuation is taking place against the backdrop of the three-day ceasefire starting midnight Tuesday declared by the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid Support Force
The Federal Government will today commence the evacuation of about 5,500 Nigerians, including students stranded in Khartoum and other cities in Sudan.
The development has sent respite to many Nigerians who are worried about the fate of the stranded students.
To facilitate the repatriation, the government has released N150m for hiring 40 buses to convey its desperate citizens from Sudan to Cairo in Egypt.
The money was paid to an undisclosed transport company on Tuesday at 12:37 pm by the Central Bank of Nigeria through the National Emergency Management Agency.
The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, confirmed on Tuesday that the payment had been made, noting that the evacuees would take off on Wednesday morning.
The evacuation is taking place against the backdrop of the three-day ceasefire starting midnight Tuesday declared by the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid Support Force.
Foreign countries are taking advantage of the temporary suspension of hostilities to move their nationals from Sudan as deadly fighting between the two forces entered the second week.
The clashes broke out between erstwhile allies, General Abdel al-Burha, who heads the Sudanese Armed Forces and leader of the RSF paramilitary group, General Mohamed Dagalo, over a power-sharing disagreement.
The conflict had so far claimed about 500 lives with thousands of others injured and millions displaced.
Foreigners are also fleeing the capital Khartoum in a long-United Nations convoy, while millions of frightened residents hunkered down inside their homes, many running low on water and food.
Across the city of five million, army and paramilitary troops have fought ferocious street battles since April 15, leaving behind charred tanks, gutted buildings and looted shops.
Several ceasefires that were agreed by both sides were ignored, including a three-day pause to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which started on Friday.
The Federal Government had planned the repatriation of Nigerian nationals in that country on Tuesday but had to shift the evacuation to Wednesday (today) for security reasons.
Sources claimed that the government sought the support of the Egyptian authorities to evacuate the 5,500 stranded Nigerians out of Sudan through Luxor, Egypt.
The Director of the Special Duties, National Emergency Management Agency, who doubles as Chairman of NEMA’s Committee for the Evacuation of the Stranded Nigerians from Sudan, Dr Onimode Bandele, had said the government met with government officials in Egypt on how to move Nigerians through Luxor.