FIRST BATCH OF 360 INDIAN EVACUEES FROM SUDAN REACH DELHI
The first batch of 360 Indians evacuated from Sudan has reached Delhi under "Operation Kaveri", launched this week to bring back citizens stranded in the war-torn African nation.
"India welcomes back its own. #OperationKaveri brings 360 Indian Nationals to the homeland as first flight reaches New Delhi," External Affairs Minister S, Jaishakar wrote in a tweet late Wednesday, sharing pictures of the evacuees.
India launched 'Operation Kaveri' with Jaishankar assuring that the government is "committed to assisting all brethren in Sudan".
As part of the operation, India has positioned two heavy-lift military transport aircraft in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah and a naval ship at a key port in violence-hit Sudan as part of its contingency plans to evacuate its stranded nationals.
It has also set up a transit facility at Jeddah and all the Indians have been taken to the coastal Saudi Arabian city after their evacuation from Sudan.
Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan is currently in Jeddah to oversee the evacuation mission.
Earlier, France and Saudi Arabia evacuated some Indians along with citizens of other countries as part of their evacuation mission from Sudan.
The External Affairs Ministry had said that India is closely monitoring the complex and evolving security situation in Sudan.
"We are also coordinating closely with various partners for the safe movement of those Indians who are stranded in Sudan and would like to be evacuated," the Ministry said in a statement.
According to the Indian Embassy in Khartoum, there are around 2,800 Indian nationals in Sudan, in addition to a settled Indian community of around 1,200 people that has been in the country for nearly 150 years.
Clashes between Sudan's army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary since April 15 has killed at least 459 people and injured more than 4,000, according to the WHO.
The crisis has sparked a mass exodus of foreigners, while the UN has warned a giant new refugee crisis could be brewing.