By Innocent Odoh & Agency Report
A number of Nigerians studying in Sudan have reportedly made arrangements to flee to Ethiopia to escape the vicious fighting that erupted in the country as deaths and destruction have led to the evacuation of foreigners in the country.
According to reports, the students under the auspices of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Sudan chapter, had issued a statement calling on colleagues to assemble at three locations in Gadarif, before evacuation to neighbouring Ethiopia.
Gadarif is the capital of the state of Al Qadarif in Sudan. It lies on the road that connects Khartoum with Gallabat on the Ethiopian border, about 410 kilometres from the capital.
The situation in Sudan is dire as clashes continued yesterday between the army led by Abdel Fattah al- Burhan and the Rapid Support Force (RSF) led by Mohammed Dalago. About 500 people have been killed in over one week of the conflict and the country’s infrastructure has been devastated with hospitals out of service and food shortages threatening civilian lives.
Over 3,500 people have been injured and tens of thousands have fled to neighbouring Chad, causing a massive humanitarian crisis.
The federal government, through the chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, described as “risky” evacuating Nigerians from the country.
NIDCOM on Friday said although the Nigerian Mission in Sudan and the National Emergency Management Agency had put in place arrangements to evacuate Nigerians, it was risky for any flight to operate during this period of war.
The NANS statement partly read, “This is to inform all Nigerian students to gather at any of these three locations to proceed with the evacuation to Gadarif, then to Ethiopia. 1. Ifriqiyyah University 2. NANSS Office or 3. El-Razi University.”
It said departure time was 1pm and transport cost is $100.
“Those who don’t have the funds should contact either their school or state president. Come along with your passport original/photocopy or school ID card. Those that don’t have their passport at hand should also contact their state or school president,” the student body added.
The situation in the country is dicey as all airports and land borders in Sudan are closed as the evacuation of even diplomats was very difficult and complicated.
The federal government, however, said that it had set up a rescue committee to come up with the safest way of evacuating Nigerians stranded in the troubled nation.
The government disclosed this through the National Emergency Management Agency, stressing that it was aware of the widespread public concern about the situation in Sudan.