Indian nationals evacuated from violence-hit Sudan narrate ordeal

They say the fight was so intense that it became an everyday struggle to even arrange for food

By ANI

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Indian nationals evacuated from violence-hit Sudan under Operation Kaveri on their arrival at the IGI Airport in New Delhi on Wednesday. — PTI
Indian nationals evacuated from violence-hit Sudan under Operation Kaveri on their arrival at the IGI Airport in New Delhi on Wednesday. — PTI

Published: Wed 26 Apr 2023, 4:25 PM

Last updated: Wed 26 Apr 2023, 11:42 PM

India made most of the 72-hour ceasefire agreed upon by the two warring factions in Sudan to evacuate more citizens under Operation Kaveri on Wednesday.

The Indian Air Force successfully evacuated another batch of around 250 trapped Indians as part of the rescue effort. More than 250 people were flown out from Port Sudan by two IAF C-130 J planes. Prior to this, 135 stranded Indians were rescued on Wednesday.

All those who were evacuated to safety had a story to tell. They narrated their ordeal and said that the fight was so intense that it became an everyday struggle to even arrange for food.

Narrating his experience, one of the evacuees from Sudan told ANI: "The fight was intense. We were struggling for food. The scenario continued for 2-3 days."

Another evacuated Indian said: "The tent of Rapid Support Forces was set up near our company. At around 9am, the forces entered our company and kept us hostage for eight hours. They pointed riffles at our chest and looted us. Our mobiles were stolen."

"We were in touch with the Embassy and requested them to arrange for buses as we had diesel. The Indian Navy came and rescued us," he added.

Sudan is facing violence due to fighting between forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah Al Burhan and his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). There are reports of violence even amid the 72-hour ceasefire.

As the fighting intensified in the capital Khartoum, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Monday that its 'Operation Kaveri' was operational and about 500 Indians had reached Port 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 assisting all our brethren in Sudan."

Previously, France’s Embassy in India informed that their country had evacuated some Indians along with citizens from 27 other countries as part of its evacuation mission from Sudan.

Earlier on Saturday, Saudi Arabia said it had evacuated 66 citizens of "brotherly and friendly" foreign countries that included a few Indian nationals.

The evacuation came days after Jaishankar spoke to his Saudi Arabia counterpart.

The Indians who were evacuated from Sudan thanked the Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia and the Indian government for the smooth arrangements.

“I really appreciate the Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia. They have done wonderful arrangements for the evacuees coming from Port Sudan. We can never get a better arrangement than this,” said a returnee.

“Really appreciate them,” said another evacuee.

“Happy to see off 360 Indians at Jeddah Airport in a flight bound for New Delhi. They will be reaching the motherland soon, reuniting with their families. Under #OperationKaveri the Government is working relentlessly to evacuate Indian nationals from Sudan & bring them home safely,” Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan tweeted.


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