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Nigeria Spends $1.2 Million to Evacuate 2,400 Stranded Citizens from Sudan

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ABUJA, Nigeria – The Nigerian Federal Government announced on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, that it has spent $1.2 million to deploy 40 buses in a massive evacuation effort to rescue at least 2,400 Nigerians stranded in Sudan amidst ongoing conflict.

The announcement was made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, following this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chambers of Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

According to Onyeama, the high cost of the operation is attributed to providing security cover for the evacuees during their eight-hour journey from Luxol to Cairo and the subsequent eleven-hour trip from Aswan to Cairo, Egypt.

Despite a ceasefire agreement between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, local media reports indicate that fighting resumed on Wednesday, with a hospital being shelled in the process.

Onyeama confirmed that no Nigerian lives were lost in the conflict and that most of the evacuees were students from the University of Khartoum.

However, the minister mentioned that there were no current discussions regarding alternative plans for the students’ continued education.

The evacuation mission, initially scheduled for Tuesday, faced logistic challenges and was postponed to Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

The Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission Chairperson, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, confirmed the new travel plans on Twitter: “Last night, the Nigeria Evacuation team in Sudan received some buses to transport Nigerian Students to nearby borders in Egypt, before airlifting them to Nigeria. This has been sorted by the Federal Government through @nemanigeria and the Nigerian Embassy in Sudan. More buses are arriving this morning and the stranded students will depart today.”

The Trent had earlier reported that 40 buses were dispatched to evacuate Nigerians from Khartoum and other conflict-stricken areas of Sudan in the early hours of Wednesday in a mission now dubbed “Operation Desert Rescue.”

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