New Delhi [India], April 25: Indians stranded in Sudan have departed from the conflict-torn country in the first phase of ‘Operation Kaveri’, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday.
The third Saryu-class patrol vessel of the Indian Navy, INS Sumedha with 278 people onboard departed from Port Sudan for Jeddah.
Taking to Twitter, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Arindam Bagchi wrote, “First batch of stranded Indians leave Sudan under #OperationKaveri. INS Sumedha with 278 people onboard departs Port Sudan for Jeddah.”
As the fighting between the Sudanese Army and paramilitary groups intensified in the capital Khartoum, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar informed on Monday that its ‘Operation Kaveri’ to evacuate its citizens from battle-torn Sudan is underway and about 500 Indians had reached Port Sudan.
India has launched “Operation Kaveri” to bring back stranded Indians from the war-torn Sudan.
Taking to Twitter, Jaishankar said, “Operation Kaveri gets underway to bring back our citizens stranded in Sudan. About 500 Indians have reached Port Sudan. More on their way. Our ships and aircraft are set to bring them back home. Committed to assisting all our brethren in Sudan.”
Previously, France Embassy in India informed that their country has evacuated some Indians along with citizens of 27 other countries as part of its evacuation mission from violence-hit Sudan.
Earlier, on Saturday, Saudi Arabia said it has evacuated 66 citizens of “brotherly and friendly” foreign countries that included a few Indian nationals from the conflict-hit nation.
The evacuation came days after Jaishankar spoke to his Saudi Arabia counterpart. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday chaired a high-level meeting to review the security situation in Sudan.
“In the implementation of the directives of the Kingdom’s Leadership, we are pleased to announce the safe arrival of the evacuated citizens of the Kingdom from Sudan and several nationals of brotherly & friendly countries, including diplomats & international officials,” Saudi Arabia Foreign Ministry statement said.
Sudan is facing violence due to fighting between the army and the paramilitary forces. There are reports of violence even amid a 72-hour ceasefire.
Earlier, Jaishankar had on April 20 met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York and discussed the developments in Sudan.
“We had a very good meeting. Most of our meeting was on the Sudan situation. We also discussed the G20, and Ukraine conflict, but essentially it was about Sudan,” Jaishankar told.
Jaishankar said that the Indian government is in continuous touch with its citizens stuck in Sudan.
Fighting has been raging between forces loyal to Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
The conflict began since a coup in 2021 between Sudan’s military leader and his deputy on the ruling council erupted derailing a plan for a transition to a civilian democracy after the fall of longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019.