The first batch of Nigerians who were evacuated from Sudan following armed conflict between the Sudanese military and rival paramilitary group, Rapid Support Forces (RSF), arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, late Wednesday night May 3, 2023.
The returnees touched down on board a Naval Airplane and Air Peace Aircraft at about 11.35pm.
Blueprint reports that the crisis in Sudan began on April 15, 2023 when clashes broke out in western Sudan, in the capital city of Khartoum, and in the Darfur region.
The crisis, which has since resulted in the death of at least 559 people and more than 4,000 others being injured, according to reports.
This is as many foriegn nations, including Nigeria, have continued to evacuate their citizens to neighbouring countries due to the closure of Sudanese Airspace.
The federal government, through the Nigerian Embassy in Sudan and other relevant agencies, had made arrangement for the Nigerians, mostly students, to be conveyed to Egypt by road from where they were flown back to the country.
Recieving the evacuees at the Airport, the Director Migration, National Commission for Refugees, Migrant and Internally Displaced Persons, Mrs. Catherine Udida, said 94 evacuees were flown in by the naval plane C130, while 282 other were evacuted by Air Peace.
On her part, the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said it was a huge relief to receive the returnees, bearing in mind what they went through in Sudan and Egypt enroute Nigeria.
Also on hand to receive the returnees were Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, the Director General of National Emergemce Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Habib, as well as family members of the evacuees.
Expressing satisfaction on their safe return, a relative of one of the evacuees simply identified as Adeola wrote: “Alhamdulillah for the safe journey. I spoke with my sister some minutes ago. Thanks to all that contributed to the safe arrival, we are grateful and wish the rest safe journey.”
Similarly, another relative wrote, “Alhmdllh Bini’imatihi. Let’s wait for the rest. Thanks for your efforts. The most important thing is that not even one got injury talk less of losing life. What a blessing. We should be grateful to Almighty God and celebrate the effort of the officials for a Job well done. It’s not easy.”