In the past five days Nigeria has airlifted 1,600 of its citizens from Sudan after the country plunged suddenly into violent conflict three weeks ago.
Eight plane-loads of evacuees, mostly students studying at Sudanese universities, have landed in Abuja. They were flown in on NAF C-130 military jets and passenger planes provided by privately-owned carriers Air Peace, Max Air, Azman Air and Tarco Air.
The arrival of the eighth flight was announced on the afternoon of Monday May 8. It is not known how many more flights are planned. It is believed there are between 800 and 1,000 more people waiting to be airlifted in the next few days.
Nigerians in the capital Khartoum were transported initially northwards to the border with Egypt in five buses. Several hundred were caught at the border for days waiting to be allowed over by Egyptian authorities, HumAngle reported.
All of the Nigerians who had been stuck in the Sudanese border town of Halfa are believed to have made it to flights and are now back home in Nigeria, returnees say.
But thousands of people from many nations, including Sudanese trying to flee the country, remain stuck there, it has been reported.
A larger group of evacuees in 27 buses were taken eastwards to the Red Sea coastal town of Port Sudan, and airlifted from an airfield there. There are still an estimated four or five plane loads of people waiting there, returned evacuees were told by those organising the flights.
The process that started on May 3, 2023 is being collaboratively carried out through the Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Federal Ministry for Humanitarian Services, Disaster Management and Social development, Nigerian Emergency Management Agency and Nigerians In Diaspora Commission.
Since the crisis broke out 23 days ago, HumAngle has reported how Nigerians, mostly students, have been stranded in the northeastern African country.
There were an estimated 4,000 Nigerian students in the country at the time the conflict started, student leaders said. There are believed to be many more Nigerians who have made lives in Sudan who have opted to stay.
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