'Sankat Mochak' VK Singh arrives in South Sudan; Sushma Swaraj urges Indians to move out

Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh is at the helm of the government`s `Operation Sankat Mochan` to evacuate Indians from South Sudan.

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2016, 15:44 PM IST
'Sankat Mochak' VK Singh arrives in South Sudan; Sushma Swaraj urges Indians to move out

New Delhi: Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh on Thursday reached South Sudan to evacuate Indians stranded in the war-torn African country.

After leading `Operation Raahat` successfully in Yemen, Singh is at the helm of the government`s `Operation Sankat Mochan` to evacuate Indians from South Sudan.

Taking to Twitter, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said:

She further stated that the government has sent two aircraft for the evacuation and urged all Indian nationals to move out of the troubled African nation.

According to Vikas Swarup, the spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry, Indian Blue Berets who are part of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) are helping in the evacuation process.

In a separate tweet, Swarup said Singh has also met with South Sudanese Foreign Minister Deng Alor Kuol. 

Indian nationals with valid travel documents would be allowed boarding with maximum five kg cabin baggage and no check-in pieces. Women and children will be accommodated on priority. The return flights would be only up to New Delhi.

 

Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said that Singh would be accompanied by Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry, Joint Secretary Satbir Singh and Director Anjani Kumar.

She said India`s Ambassador in South Sudan Srikumar Menon and his team were organising this operation on the ground.

There are around 500 Indians in the country.

Bollywood star Akshay Kumar had on July 12 tweeted External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to take speedy measures for evacuation of Indians stuck in Juba, South Sudan.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir on Monday evening ordered a ceasefire after days of heavy fighting between government troops and forces loyal to Vice President Riek Machar in Juba.

President Kiir directed all commanders to cease all hostilities, control their forces and protect civilians, Information Minister Michael Makuei said in a televised speech on state broadcaster SSTV.

The ceasefire took effect from 6 pm on Monday and any member of the Machar-led forces who surrendered must also be protected, Makuei said.

The latest bout of violence started on July 7 after a localised gunfight outside Kiir`s residence in Juba when he was holding a meeting with Machar.