Why we haven’t evacuated our citizens from South Sudan – Nigerian govt

Abike Dabiri-Erewa Credit: Opinion Nigeria

Nigerians have been assured that the federal government has not neglected her citizens in Juba, South Sudan, as discussions about their safety is ongoing.

Senior Special Assistant to President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, that plans had been on to evacuate Nigerians from the war torn country.

She however said that the delay was due to logistics and the non-willingness of those affected to return to Nigeria.

Ms. Dabiri-Erewa, who spoke through her media aide, Abdul-Rahaman Balogun, dismissed the claim that 100 Nigerians living in juba were stranded.

She said the federal government had offered to evacuate Nigerians from Juba in the early stage, but the delay was due to logistics, but that there was no immediate threat to their security and safety.

However, many refused due to their businesses that needed to be secured.

“Many of them demanded they should be evacuated to the neighbouring countries like Kenya and, DRC or Central African Republic because of their investment in Juba,” he said.

According to her, most of them have very good investments in Juba and they are afraid of losing them, so they don’t want to be far away from it even if they are evacuated.

Dabiri-Erewa however assured that there has been a regular contact with the Nigerian mission in the country and necessary steps are being taken to ensure safety of the people.

She explained that although relative calm had returned to the country, the federal government was still ready to evacuate those willing to come back home as soon as possible.

The Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Clement Aduku, had earlier said the ministry was monitoring the situation in Juba.

Aduku said the Nigerian mission in South Sudan was in contact with the ministry, while assuring that the welfare of Nigerian citizens in the country is guaranteed.

Fighting broke out in Juba on July 7, in the world’s newest country.

Report says that uneasy calm returned to South Sudan’s capital, Juba, on Tuesday after five days of fierce fighting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and First Vice-President Riek Machar.

The calm comes after the two leaders ordered a ceasefire and directed all commanders to lay down arms and report to their unit bases.

No fewer than 272 people have been killed in the renewed fighting that threatened to plunge the world’s youngest nation into war.



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