The chairperson of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NiDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has said that the federal government has asked for a safe corridor doe the evacuation of Nigerians trapped in Sudan.
Dabiri-Erewa in an interview with BBC Africa on Monday said the evacuation of the students would commence on Tuesday.
According to her, Nigerian students would be transported by buses to the borders of Egypt before being airlifted to Nigeria.
The conflict in Sudan between the country’s military and the Rapid Support Forces, RSF, has resulted in the inability of flights to operate in the country.
There have been reports of burnt aircraft amid shutdown of airport.
Dabiri-Erewa said, “We are hoping that by tomorrow, the first set of buses will be leaving Khartoum heading toward some borders in Cairo…to evacuate the first set to a safe place where we can now airlift them back home to Nigeria.
“So, I know that the National Association of Nigerian Students actually sent a message and told all of them come somewhere so we can pay some fees but that was a dangerous move so they’ve all returned back to base and there’s a contact from the Nigerian mission in Sudan where there will be coming to.
“So, as soon as the buses are ready, like I said, most likely by tomorrow morning, they will convey them safely and that is the keyword.”
The NiDCOM boss said the process had been delayed because the federal government had yet to get feedback from Sudan’s army and the RSF for a safe passage.
She added, “Now, here is the thing, why are we waiting? Because we must ensure that we get the permission of the military on both sides. Now, we have a large number of Nigerian students, we’re talking of thousands, nothing less than 3,500 that are stranded there so we’re conveying them in a whole lot of buses. Imagine seeing 10 buses without any security, you’re putting them in harm’s way,” she said.
“So we want to ensure that there’s safety and security, so by tomorrow morning, we believe that they’ll now go en route to Egypt and get to two borders there and they’ll be in a safe location to return home. “Our ministry of foreign affairs has contacted both sides of the divide and we have asked for a safe corridor for our students and that means to give us security.”
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