NEMA poised to evacuate stranded Nigerians in Sudan – DG
By Ruth Oketunde
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has restated its commitment towards evacuating stranded Nigerians in Sudan.
The Director-General of the agency, Mr Mustapha Ahmed stated this in a statement issued by the Head of its Press Unit, Mr Manzo Ezekiel on Saturday in Abuja.
NEMA, he said, has set up a committee which was already working on all possible options of ensuring the safe return of Nigerians from the conflict-ridden Sudan, especially students in its various universities.
He said the committee comprised of professional emergency responders, search and rescue experts, who would constantly evaluate the situation and recommend the safest approach for the evacuation.
“It has become necessary to inform the public that NEMA is in constant communication with all relevant partners including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Nigerian Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission and security agencies.
“While seeking for an appropriate window of opportunity to evacuate all stranded Nigerians back home in a safe and dignified manner.
“The current emergency situation in Sudan is very complex with fighting between waring factions going on and all airports and land boarders closed,” he said.
He assured Nigerians that NEMA was working assiduously with all its partners, and is constantly compiling updated information on the situation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that clashes erupted amid an apparent power struggle between the two main factions of Sudan’s military regime.
The Sudanese armed forces are broadly loyal to Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, the country’s de facto ruler, while the para militaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a collection of militia, follow the former warlord Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti.
The power struggle has its roots in the years before a 2019 uprising that ousted the dictatorial ruler Omar Al-Bashir, who built up formidable security forces that he deliberately set against one another.
When an effort to transition to a democratic civilian-led government faltered after Bashir’s fall, an eventual showdown appeared inevitable, with diplomats in Khartoum warning in early 2022 that they feared such an outbreak of violence.
In recent weeks, tensions have risen further.
The UN said no fewer than 180 people have been killed and another 1,800 injured in three days of fighting between the rival factions in Sudan.