Sudan crisis:”It’s mission accomplished” FG declares as it formally ends students evacuation

Federal government yesterday said it has accomplished its mission to evacuate all Nigerian students and others stranded in the conflict in Sudan, formally closing down the situation room set up to handle the emergency.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, said so far, government has evacuated 2, 518 Nigerians consisting mostly students who are now home safe.

He explained that “Following the outbreak of war in the republic of Sudan, Nigerians like any other country’s citizen found themselves trapped and stranded in the middle of the crisis and the federal government gave us the assignment to put in place mechanisms to ensure that every Nigerian that needs to be brought back home, must be brought back home alive and safe and in dignity.

“These three words, (alive, safe and in dignity), kept recurring in our discussions and I am happy to say that we have achieved all those three so you can clearly understand the magnitude of the assignment.

“All Nigerian students that were stranded in Sudan, have been brought back home safely to Nigeria alive.

“Some were sick, six, and we had to take them to hospitals, I am happy to say that they have all been discharged except for one who will require some follow up.

“I am happy to say that we have achieved all these. All Nigerian students that are stranded

“This is a very important milestone in this assignment that we have been given. I call it a milestone because we still have some journey left but I must say that we have reached a very critical point and I important point in the journey, so far the assignment given to us.

“They came back in dignity, many of them are already reunited with their families.”

Dr. Gwarzo said that although there are some Nigerians who could not make it back due lack of identification papers and identity cards among others, the Nigerian mission is working to resolve these cases and bring all those identified to Nigeria.

“The situation room will be formally closed today, (yesterday), and that takes us through a transition process that will leave behind a standby team that will continue to respond to any emergency that will arise

“We also have a mop-up mechanism where any Nigerian that is found in need of help in that country can be brought back home, (to Nigeria).

“The last flight that came to Nigeria was the 15th flight, with the last one arriving at the weekend and that gave us a total figure of returnees of 2, 518, majority of them are students and they are all back and safe.

The permanent secretary noted that there are still some Nigerians that’s have been left behind.

“Because there are several categories of Nigerians that are resident in Sudan, there are people that are recent travellers who wanted to come home and we have evacuated them, there are people that have been in Sudan for several years dating back some to hundreds of years, so for these category, we have a committee screening them in Port Sudan and they will be brought back home too.

While appreciate the President, Muhammadu Buhari, for the robust support given to the team, he said the evacuation team has spread word to all those left behind in Sudan and other border towns to head to Port Sudan where Nigerian officials are set up to render assistance.

“We have sent word through all our contacts even across border towns like Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, N’Djamena, Chad, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Juba, South Sudan and others.”

Recall The Guardian reported that some of the returnees said there are still some members of the Nigerian community that were left behind due to ack of clear identification and papers among others.