Indian evacuation efforts underway: Two IAF planes in Jeddah and Navy Ship in Sudan
New Delhi, April 24: The Indian government has announced that two Indian Air Force C-130J planes are ready on standby in Jeddah, and the Indian naval ship 'Sumedha' is in Port Sudan, in order to evacuate the 3,000 Indians stranded in Sudan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a high-level meeting to develop contingency plans for the evacuation, and India has already used the C-130J to evacuate citizens from Afghanistan.
“Government of India is making all-out efforts to ensure safety and security of Indians stranded in Sudan. We are also coordinating closely with various partners for the safe movement of those Indians who are stranded in Sudan and would like to be evacuated,” said the foreign ministry, adding that apart from Sudanese authorities, India is also in contact with the UN, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and US among others. Three Indians were evacuated by Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
In addition to the Sudanese authorities, India is in contact with the UN, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and the US in order to ensure the safety and security of Indians in Sudan. Three Indians were evacuated by Saudi Arabia on Saturday, and the Sudanese army has said they will help facilitate the evacuation of diplomats and foreign nationals by military aircraft.
However, the Indian government has stated that Sudanese airspace is currently closed for all foreign aircraft. They have also warned of the risks and logistical challenges of overland movement.
The embassy is in regular contact with the stranded Indians and is advising them on the viability of safe movement, and possible exit from Khartoum as and when the security situation permits safe movement.
“Contingency plans are in place but any movement on the ground would depend on the security situation, which continues to be volatile with reports of fierce fighting at various locations in Khartoum,” said the government.
The US military managed to airlift close to 100 embassy staffers from Khartoum on Sunday, with both the Sudanese army and its rival paramilitary force apparently agreeing to not block the airlift. Reports from the region indicate that the warring factions have agreed to allow the evacuation of foreign nationals with the assistance of the UN.
- With inputs from agencies