Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has said that due the dicey situation in the conflict-torn Sudan, the Federal Government will evacuate Nigerians by road.
Many Nigerias including students and citizens of other countries are stranded in the North African country following the Violence that broke out between the Sudanese army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the leader of the Rapid Support Force(RSF) Mohamed Dalago.
The power struggle that erupted barely a week ago has led to the death of about 500 people and injured over 3500 and displaced tens of thousands of others, who have poured into Chad.
This ugly incident has led to calls by Nigerians on the Federal Government to rescue its citizens in the beleaguered country.
However,speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Onyeama said those stranded can’t be evacuated by air because the airports in Sudan have been shut.
“We have been given the cost estimate and all the details. They gave us a figure of 5,500 who are ready for evacuation. Obviously, what you need in a situation like this is a place where everybody can congregate before you start moving them out. Because the airports, as you pointed out in your report, it is out of commission. The only viable way out is by road.
“But of course, it is not totally safe so you are going to require the government to provide some security and a safe corridor out.”
He said further that “Our situation is particularly challenging because the numbers are so great. Some the countries like the US and European countries have started evacuating.
“But what they’ve been evacuating were actually their diplomatic staff. They haven’t been able to start evacuating their citizens there. We can’t evacuate all our diplomatic staff at the moment because they need to also coordinate the evacuation of all those students that we’re talking about.”
Earlier the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, signed by the Charge D’ Affairs H.Y Garko, had advised students who make up about 80 percent of the stranded persons to stay indoors.
This advice was based on information that some Nigerian students have mobilised themselves to flee to Ethiopia but the government warned that it was still dangerous to embark on a journey toward the borders of Sudan without security clearance and guarantee from the Sudanese authorities.
The Embassy also reassured the Nigerian students that their safety and well-being were of priority concern.