NEW DELHI: The government on Monday launched ‘Operation Kaveri’to evacuate close to 3,000 Indian citizens stranded in Sudan, the African country that remained on edge because of fierce fighting between the army and a paramilitary force. Foreign minister S Jaishankar said about 500 Indians had reached Port Sudan and that the government is working to bring them home in ships and aircraft.
PM Narendra Modi announced the operation at a public event in Kerala, saying he has asked junior external affairs minister V Muraleedharan to travel to the region to supervise the evacuation.
India had on Sunday stationed two Super Hercules C-130J aircraft in Jeddah, across the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia, to evacuate its citizens. According to diplomatic sources, five Indian nationals were among the 388 people who were evacuated by France in a military aircraft earlier on Monday. “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,” tweeted Jaishankar.
French diplomatic sources said evacuation operations were launched on Saturday and the five Indian nationals were carried out by the French Air Force using A400M aircraft from the French military base in Djibouti. Saudi Arabia had earlier evacuated three Indian citizens.
India begins 'Operation Kaveri' to evacuate Indians stranded in Sudan
Some of the stranded Indians have called up their families to assure they are safe. “There are about 3,000 Indians in Sudan and the Indian embassy is doing everything possible to evacuate us. All Indians have been shifted to Port Sudan from where we are being taken to Jeddah,” said a senior engineer who works in a private company in Sudan. “The civil war is centred around Khartoum. All Indians in Khartoum have been shifted to safer locations. No Indian is injured so far in the war,” he added.
A Senthil Kumar, a software consultant from Coimbatore, who lived in Sudan for four years and left the war-torn country recently, said, “Based on my telephonic conversations with my friends living there, I can say the country is running short of essential supplies. Soon, there could be food shortage.”
“The usual travel time from Khartoum to Port Sudan is 11 hours, but on Sunday it took more than 25 hours for many Indians to reach the port city due to the civil war. The Indian embassy is in touch with the stranded Indians,” he added.
India intensifies efforts to evacuate Indians from Sudan, INS Sumedha arrives in Port Sudan
The Open Magazine of India by Artmotion Network (https://magazine.armotion.com/)