New Delhi: India safely evacuated 534 Indian nationals from strife-torn Sudan to Jeddah, via Indian naval ships and IAF aircraft, with more sorties to follow as part of Operation Kaveri.
While the first batch of 278 Indians left for Jeddah — where a transit facility has been set up for onward journey to India—on Tuesday evening on board INS Sumedha, two other batches, of 121 and 135 Indians, were flown to Jeddah on board two IAF C-130J aircraft later in the night.
Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan has been stationed in Jeddah where a control room has been set up to oversee the safe evacuation of Indian nationals from Sudan.
More sorties will follow to evacuate the over 3,000 Indians who were in Sudan when the fighting broke out between the army and the paramilitary.
India has launched full-scale operations to evacuate its nationals taking advantage of the three-day ceasefire that the two warring factions in Sudan announced on Tuesday. The leaders of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the rival Rapid Support Forces have agreed to halt the fighting starting from Tuesday.
The ceasefire is meant to “establish humanitarian corridors, allowing citizens and residents to access essential resources, health care, and safe zones, while also evacuating diplomatic missions,” the RSF said.
EAM S Jaishankar said in tweets:
“A second C-130 flight reaches Jeddah bringing 135 passengers from Sudan.
#OperationKaveri moving steadily forward.
“#OperationKaveri – the next step.
“The first C-130 lands flight lands in Jeddah with another 121 passengers. They will be reaching home soon.”
“Operation Kaveri unfolds.
INS Sumedha docks in Jeddah with 278 passengers.
Thank HH @FaisalbinFarhan and Saudi Arabian authorities for their fullest cooperation.”
MoS V Muraleedharan said in tweets: “Happy to receive 278 Indians from Sudan onboard INS Sumedha at Jeddah Port. Glad Saudi Director General, MFA, Jeddah Branch H.E.Mazin Hamad Al Himly joined me.
“Thank Saudi authorities for excellent support in Jeddah.
“Appreciate Indian Navy & officials involved in this complex exercise of evacuating Indians from Sudan.”
“First IAF C-130J aircraft under #OperationKaveri from Port Sudan carrying 121 Indians landed in Jeddah.
“Glad to see the joy in the Indians.
“Third batch comprising 135 Indians from Port Sudan arrived in Jeddah by IAF C-130J aircraft.
Onward journey to India for all who arrived in Jeddah will commence shortly.”