New Delhi [India], April 21: Prime Minister Narendra Modi instructed all officials concerned to remain vigilant, closely monitor the developments and continuously evaluate the safety of Indians in Sudan, according to the official statement released by Prime Minister’s Office.
He made the remarks while chairing a meeting on Friday in the aftermath of the Sudan crisis that has put the lives of thousands of Indians in the capital city of Khartoum at stake. Over 3,000 Indians are currently stuck in the crisis-hit nation.
“Prime Minister Modi instructed all relevant officials to remain vigilant, closely monitoring developments and continuously evaluating the safety of Indian nationals in Sudan and extending them all possible assistance. The Prime Minister further directed the preparation of contingency evacuation plans, accounting for the rapidly shifting security landscape and the viability of various options,” the statement read.
PM Modi emphasised the importance of maintaining close communication with neighbouring countries in the Sudan region as well as those with significant numbers of citizens in Sudan.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, India’s ambassador to Sudan, BS Mubarak and numerous other senior officials were present at the briefing.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Modi assessed the most recent developments in Sudan and received a first-hand report of the conditions on the ground, with a specific focus on the safety of Indian citizens presently located throughout the country.
During the meeting, PM Modi expressed his condolences on the passing away of an Indian, who tragically fell victim to a stray bullet last week.
A week earlier, the Indian Embassy in Sudan informed that an Indian working in a Dal Group Company in Sudan, identified as Albert Augestine, was killed by a stray bullet.
The Indian Embassy in Sudan, tweeted, “The embassy is in touch with family and medical authorities to make further arrangements.”
External Affairs Minister Jaishankar, on April 20, met 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 held talks on the G20, and Ukraine conflict, but essentially it was about Sudan,” Jaishankar told.
Jaishankar said the Indian government is in continuous touch with its citizens stranded amidst the conflict and violence in Sudan.
“Our team in Delhi is in continuous touch with the Indians in Sudan, advising them. We know it’s very difficult for everybody but keep calm and don’t take unnecessary risk. I hope the efforts will yield something very soon,” the EAM said.
Earlier, the spokesperson for Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi, also said the ministry is in contact with the Indian embassy 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 when 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. Elections were supposed to be held by the end of 2023.