New Delhi, July 12: June Putting security of nationals on top priority, the government on Tuesday formed a task force to evacuate Indians stranded in the Sudan which is facing severe civil war situation. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed that she is well aware of the developments in South Sudan and government is planning for evacuation plan of Indian Nationals.
The Foreign Ministry had on Sunday advised people of the country to not to travel to the war-torn country. She also advised the Indians to register with Indian embassy in South Sudan, so that correct number of people to be evacuated can be figured out. The ministry issued Email IDs and phone numbers for ease of registration.
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. At present, the fighting is taking place in Juba,” she said. “We are looking forward. If the situation improves, we will even then ask them if they want to return. But if the situation worsens, we will not delay and immediately evacuate them from there,” she added.
On Sunday, Indian embassy in South Sudan had asked Indians stranded there to stay calm, assuring them that they are in constant touch with authorities in India and all options are being considered to provide relief to them amid heavy fighting between South Sudan’s army and former rebels.
The security situation in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, has deteriorated since July 7. Reports of gun fire and fighting on the streets of Juba are making any movement virtually impossible. South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has ordered a ceasefire after days of intense fighting in Juba left more than 150 dead and many more injured since fighting broke out on Thursday.
The ceasefire announcement came as United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called on the Security Council to impose an “immediate arms embargo” and targeted sanctions on leaders and commanders blocking implementation of the peace deal. There was renewed fighting between the government and former rebel forces since Thursday in Juba. The latest exchanges were apparently sparked by a shootout between President Kiir’s and Vice President Riek Machar’s bodyguards.