Ships, aircraft set to bring 500 Indians back from port Sudan under Operation Kaveri

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NEW DELHI: As the fighting between the Sudanese Army and paramilitary groups intensified in the capital Khartoum, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar informed that ‘Operation Kaveri’ to evacuate Indian citizens from battle-torn Sudan is under way and about 500 Indians had reached the Port Sudan.

India has launched ‘Operation Kaveri’ to bring back stranded Indians from the war-torn Sudan. Taking to Twitter, Jaishankar said, “Operation Kaveri gets under way to bring back our citizens stranded in Sudan. About 500 Indians have reached Port Sudan. More on their way. Our ships and aircraft are set to bring them back home. Committed to assist all our bretheren in Sudan.”

Earlier, the French embassy in India informed that their country has evacuated some Indians along with citizens of 27 other countries as part of its evacuation mission from violence-hit Sudan. The French embassy in New Delhi said on Monday that 388 people from 28 countries, including India, were evacuated.

“French evacuation operations are under way. Last night, two military flight rotations evacuated 388 people from 28 countries, including Indian nationals”, it tweeted. French diplomatic sources said that five Indian nationals were evacuated so far through a French Air Force flight flying in from France’s military base in Djibouti.

Earlier, on Saturday, Saudi Arabia said it has evacuated 66 citizens of “brotherly and friendly” foreign countries that included a few Indian nationals from the conflict-hit nation. The evacuation came days after Jaishankar spoke to his Saudi counterpart.

Sudan is facing violence due to fighting between the army and the paramilitary forces. There are reports of violence even amid a 72-hour ceasefire.

“In the implementation of the directives of the Kingdom’s keadership, we are pleased to announce the safe arrival of the evacuated citizens of the Kingdom from Sudan and several nationals of brotherly & friendly countries, including diplomats & international officials”, A Saudi Arabia Foreign Ministry statement said.

The Ministry said that not only its own citizens but also a number of citizens of allied and friendly nations were evacuated from the North African country of Sudan. “We are happy to announce the safe arrival of the Kingdom’s citizens who were evacuated from the Republic of Sudan as well as a number of citizens of allied and friendly nations, including diplomats and international officials, who arrived in an evacuation operation conducted by the Royal Saudi Naval Forces with the assistance of other armed forces”, the statement said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the security situation in Sudan via video-conferencing on Friday. During the meeting, Prime Minister Modi assessed the most recent developments in Sudan and received a first-hand report of the conditions on the ground, with a specific focus on the safety of over 3,000 Indian citizens presently located throughout the country.

Jaishankar had, on April 20, met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York and discussed the developments in Sudan. “We had a very good meeting. Most of our meeting was on the Sudan situation. We also discussed the G20, and Ukraine conflict, but essentially it was about Sudan”, Jaishankar said. He also said that the Indian government is in continuous touch with its citizens stuck in Sudan.

Fighting has been raging between forces loyal to Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The conflict began since a coup in 2021 between Sudan’s military leader and his deputy on the ruling council erupted, derailing a plan for a transition to a civilian democracy after the fall of longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019. Elections were supposed to be held by the end of 2023. (ANI)

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