Rescue of Nepali nationals in Sudan underway: Foreign ministry

Published On: May 2, 2023 09:00 AM NPT By: Sajira Shrestha

KATHMANDU, May 1: The Government of Nepal has stated that it is constantly making maximum efforts for the safety and rescue of Nepali citizens in the current complex security situation in Sudan.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Monday stated that the Embassy of Nepal in Cairo (Egypt) is in constant touch with the Nepali citizens in Sudan, updating details and continuing rescue operations.

Apart from the Nepali officers working in the United Nations Peace Mission, 30 other Nepali citizens are in contact with the Nepali Embassy in Cairo, according to the MoFA.

Similarly, Nepali Consulate General in Jeddah mentioned that 19 Nepalis who had reached Port Sudan according to the request of the embassy arrived safely in Jeddah city by ship with the help of the Saudi Arabian government.

According to a statement issued by the MoFA, one Nepali national has already reached Jeddah safely and all the Nepalis who have reached there are being facilitated for their return to Nepal.

“Out of the remaining 11 Nepali nationals who are in contact with the Nepali Embassy in Cairo, five have already left for Port Sudan, one is trying to reach Port Sudan from Khartoum, three have reached Port of Sudan with the help of the employer company and have voluntarily stayed in a hotel there,” said the ministry. “The arrangements have been made for the employer company to take the two people from Khartoum to a safe place near the Egyptian border.”

The Government of Nepal has expressed its gratitude to all the related parties for providing the necessary support and facilitation in the safe rescue of Nepali citizens stranded in Sudan. In addition, the Government of Nepal has requested all Nepali citizens in Sudan to stay in safe places and not to go outside except for essential works as the security situation is still precarious.

What is happening in Sudan?

Since April 15, Sudan has been witnessing deadly armed clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces led by the country’s leader, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, in Khartoum and other areas.

A transitional government was in effect in Sudan after the longstanding leader Omar al-Bashir was removed from office in April 2019. An agreement between the military and civilian organizations resulted in the formation of the transitional government, which was tasked with guiding the nation toward democratic elections.

However, the transitional government faced many challenges. Sudan was experiencing an economic catastrophe, along with the continuous conflict between the military and civilian factions of the government.  On September 21, 2021, a military coup orchestrated by al-Burhan and Dagalo took place in Sudan, which saw the military seize power and detain members of the civilian government, including Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

Meanwhile, the army and the RSF were obliged to yield authority under the plan, and two matters in particular proved to be contentious: the timeline for the RSF's integration into the regular armed forces and the date for the army's formal transfer to civilian control. When fighting broke out, both sides blamed the other for provoking the violence.

More than 528 people have been killed while 4,599 have been injured since battles erupted on April 15. The United Nations has reported a similar number of dead but believes the real toll is much higher. While the countries like the United States of America and Saudi Arabia are securing a series of ceasefire, both rival military forces accused each other of fresh violations. Due to this, the UN warned of a humanitarian “breaking point” as clashes between rival military forces entered a third week.

Likewise, governments from the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the Americas evacuated their citizens, including teachers, students, employees, and embassy staff, from Khartoum, the capital, days into fighting that has claimed more than 500 lives.

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