Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama has said Nigerians stranded in Sudan may have to be evacuated by road from the North African country.
Nigerians in Sudan have intensified calls on the Nigerian government to rescue them following the violent clashes between Sudan’s Army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
The government had earlier assured Nigerians in the country of its commitment to evacuate them following the death of 270 people but failed to rescue its citizens from the crisis-ridden country.
But speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Onyeama said those stranded can’t be evacuated by air because it is out of commission, stating that the only way to rescue them is by road if the government will provide a safe corridor.
The minister said the evacuation situation is particularly challenging because the numbers of stranded Nigerians in Sudan are so many.
He disclosed that the government cannot evacuate all its diplomatic staff at the moment because they need to also coordinate the evacuation of all those students that are stranded.
Onyeama said: “We have been given the cost estimate and all the details. They gave us a figure of 5,500 who are ready for evacuation. Obviously, what you need in a situation like this is a place where everybody can congregate before you start moving them out. Because the airports, as you pointed out in your report, it is out of commission. The only viable way out is by road.
“But of course, it is not totally safe so you are going to require the government to provide some security and a safe corridor out. Our situation is particularly challenging because the numbers are so great. Some the countries like the US and European countries have started evacuating.
“But what they’ve been evacuating were actually their diplomatic staff. They haven’t been able to start evacuating their citizens there. We can’t evacuate all our diplomatic staff at the moment because they need to also coordinate the evacuation of all those students that we’re talking about.”
His comment comes after Nigeria’s Embassy in Khartoum advised students who make up about 80 percent of the stranded persons to stay indoors.
The FG said it was still dangerous to embark on a journey toward the borders of Sudan without security clearance and guarantee from the Sudanese authorities.