A total of 376 Nigerians fleeing the crisis in Sudan have arrived in Abuja in what is now the first batch of a government-assisted evacuation exercise.
The evacuees arrived in aircraft owned by Air Peace and the Nigerian Airforce (NAF), which conveyed the evacuees from Aswan in Egypt to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
While Air Peace conveyed 282, NAF conveyed 96 evacuees, according to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Farouq, while addressing the press.
Both aircraft arrived minutes apart.
Ms Farouq said the government of Nigeria is happy “that all of them are back safely, no lives lost, which is the most important thing, and all of the efforts put in place have not gone in vain.”
She added that the evacuees would receive dignity packs and 100,000 naira transportation fare supported by the Dangote Foundation.
They will also receive N25,000 worth of call vouchers and a data bundle (1.5 GB) from MTN.
Present at the airport to receive the evacuees was the Sudan Ambassador to Nigeria, Mohamed Yousif. He said he was sorry about the situation in Sudan but also happy to have the evacuees back in Nigeria safe.
He noted that the situation in Khartoum is now “calming down, and the army will soon control the entire capital (Khartoum).”
Mr Yousif added that he hopes that calm returns to his home country soon to enable rehabilitation and return of Nigerians to Sudan.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that the evacuation commenced last Wednesday and encountered logistics and diplomatic challenges. The Egyptian government initially denied the evacuees entry into Egypt due to a lack of entry visas. Officials said the challenge was resolved after some days by President Muhammadu Buhari’s direct intervention.
A total of 5,500 Nigerians are expected to benefit from the evacuation. They were moved by bus from Sudan to Egypt, from where they were to be airlifted to Nigeria.
According to Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), no Nigerian is left in Khartoum.
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