Federal government In Last Minute Negotiations To Evacuate Nigerians Trapped In Sudan
Federal government overnight was finalizing arrangements to evacuate Nigerians trapped in Sudan , where the army and the powerful rapid support forces are battling for the control of the country.
An estimated 3,000 Nigerian students and 2,500 other Nigerians are said to be on standby, for the proposed evacuation out of Sudan anytime from now.
Director of special duties of the national emergency management agency, Dr Onimode Bandele, said federal government was in talks with Egyptian government to facilitate the evacuation of the trapped Nigerians.
Foreign affairs minister, Geofrey Onyema who is cordinating the exercise, on a television programme, said those to be evacuated would be moved from Sudan by road after obtaining permit from sudanese authorities.
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The minister said they were negotiating with Egyptian authorities for their safe exit Egytian town of Luxor.
Over 400 people, mostly civilians have died in the 15 day old fighting.
However, the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema stated that Nigerians could be moved to a neigbouring country the airline would fly there and evacuate them, as Sudan’s airspace is closed from civil aviation flights.
In his word: “I am compelled to help because Nigeria cannot afford to lose her citizens in that country. It would be my own commitment to make sure that the stranded Nigerians in the war-torn country are safe.
“Everything must not be left for government alone, especially as the situation calls for urgency and immediate action.
More so, Air Peace is willing to evacuate Nigerians stranded in Sudan free of charge if government can get them to a safe and secure airport in any of the neighbouring countries bordering Sudan.
“Everything must not be left for government and government alone. It will be a privilege and honour of tremendous pride that we will be out there to give every Nigerian stranded in Sudan a sense of pride and oneness in their country.
“We are very ready to do it immediately. No time wasting. Any action that would promote national pride, national cohesion, peace and unity, we are for it. Again, we have no apologies for believing in our nation and loving the nation despite certain national challenges.
“If they are moved to Kenya or Uganda or any other country, we will move in to get them out. Some parents have started calling on us to help. We are ready to do this again and again.”