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Nigeria Begins Evacuation Of Citizens From War Torn Central African Republic

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Nigeria has carried out the first batch of evacuation of Nigerians from war torn Central African Republic.

Over 360 returnees arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Saturday.

Officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Nigerian Army and the Foreign Affairs Ministry are handling the evacuation process which will continue for the next six days.

According to a UN report, nearly one million people have been displaced from their homes in the clashes between Christian militias and the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel group that overthrew President Francois Bozize in March.

“At the Abuja airport, the anxiety is profound and the uncertainty huge in spite of the apparent relief.

“Airport officials continued sorting out the returnees, interrogating them for more details. It was difficult trying to get information as many of them do not speak English,” Channels Television’s Correspondent, Gloria Ume-Ezeoke, said.

One of the returnees, Mr Ali Gani, an indigene of Borno State, said that he lost his wife in the crisis.

“I am in grief,” he said.

About 1,635 Nigerians are still stranded in the country where aid efforts have been hampered in the capital, Bangui.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, said that evacuation of Nigerians in the Central African Republic would continue, to give Nigerians lasting relief from the sectarian violence.

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