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Operation Sankat Mochan: VK Singh to lead evacuation of Indians from South Sudan

South Sudan's capital is witnessing heavy fighting due to clashes between former rebels and government soldiers in several parts of the city.


Operation Sankat Mochan: VK Singh to lead evacuation of Indians from South Sudan
Pic Courtesy: MEA

Delhi: Union Minister VK Singh will be leaving for Juba on Thursday to oversee the evacuation of Indians from South Sudan.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the official Twitter handle of Ministry of External Affairs posted the following on Twitter:

The development comes a day after Swaraj had said that the government had made arrangements for the evacuation of Indians from South Sudan and set up a task force to closely monitor developments in the war-torn country.

Swaraj had held a high-level meeting yesterday, which was attended by both Ministers of State - Singh and MJ Akbar, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, during which ways to coordinate emergency assistance to Indians there were also discussed.

"We have made all arrangements to evacuate Indians from South Sudan in case the situation deteriorates further," Swaraj had said, as per PTI.

Asserting that security of Indians was most important to the government, she had added, "Even if the situation remains ok, we will ask them if they want to return and we will get them out of there."

According to the Minister, there are around 600 Indians in South Sudan, of them 450 are in Juba (capital city of South Sudan) and nearly 150 are outside Juba, where the fighting is taking place at present.

Earlier, the MEA in its advisory had said that Indian nationals desirous of departing for South Sudan may register themselves at the email ID controlroomjuba@gmail.Com.

"It is important to have the exact number of Indian nationals seeking facility of evacuation to make arrangements. Please be brief," the advisory on assistance for Indian nationals in South Sudan had said.

In case of absence of Internet, it had asked them to text to +211955589611, +211925502025, +211956942720, +211955318587.

"Ministry of External Affairs advises all Indian nationals against all travel to South Sudan till situation improves," it had further said.

Meanwhile, the official account of the Embassy of India in Juba, South Sudan, posted on Twitter the evacuation flight route.

They said it would be Juba-Kampala-Trivandrum-Delhi. They added that passengers wishing to get off at Trivandrum could do so.

South Sudan's capital is witnessing heavy fighting due to clashes between former rebels and government soldiers in several parts of the city.

Between Friday and yesterday, the capital Juba was rocked by clashes between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his longtime opponent Vice President Riek Machar.

The two men finally announced a ceasefire late yesterday.

The fighting left hundreds of people dead and sent nearly 40,000 fleeing, as per AFP.

The violence has raised fears of a return to civil war that broke out in December 2013.

On June 29 - before the latest violence erupted - both the United Nations and the Juba government had said that more than a third of South Sudanese face starvation as the nation runs the risk of a full-blown famine.

(With Agency inputs)  

From Zee News

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