Recall that over 4000 Nigerians are stranded in Sudan following the ongoing regional crisis.
The Federal Government has revealed why it is yet to evacuate Nigerian students in Sudan.
At least over 4000 Nigerians are stranded in Sudan following the ongoing regional crisis.
Giving insight into what the Nigerian Government is doing in a Channels Television Interview on Sunday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the responsibility of the Nigerian Government is to ensure that it has the full backing of the Government of Sudan before evacuation to avoid risking the lives of Nigerians.
He said the Federal Government doesn’t want to evacuate Nigerian citizens in an unsafe situation.
Onyeama said the Government was trying to get the authorization of the Government so that it can evacuate Nigerians from the region in a safe corridor.
The Minister said the situation with the Government is challenging because the number of Nigerians in Sudan is over 5,000.
“I don’t think we are sluggish; the countries evacuated yesterday and a day before, no government had evacuated before then. The reason is that it is not as if there was a military war against another country.
“The President and the Vice President of a country started shouting at each other. Of Course, it started getting worse and that is why countries started looking at evacuating their people. The advantage these people have, the US, Italy, and France, have is that they don’t have 5,000 citizens in Sudan like Nigeria.
“Tomorrow, we could start hiring cars and buses to start moving our people out, but this would put their lives at risk. And no responsible government will do that.
“What we need at the moment, which one or two countries have done, is for the Sudanese Government to assure us that we can drive and convey our citizens to the borders of our choice. The Egyptian border or to port Sudan; the Ethiopian border is not an option because I understand the road is unsafe. So once we go there, we are ready to go.
“We are in touch with the embassy and they are in touch with a large number of Nigerian students, but we don’t want to take that risk; because tomorrow, if we give the green light and there is an ambush, we will be responsible for that. The responsible thing to do is to ensure we have the full backing of the Government of Sudan”, he stated.
The crisis in Sudan erupted on April 16, 2023, as an infighting between two Generals.
The Generals of the Sudanese Army, led by Abdel Fattah Burhan and a group known as Rapid Support Forces, RSF, led by Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo have been at loggerheads escalating into a severe crisis in the capital, Khartoum.
A French national was reported shot on Sunday when gunmen opened fire on a French convoy during its evacuation.