Today, during a high-level meeting on the situation in Sudan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged officials to draft a contingency plan for the safe evacuation of over 3,000 Indian citizens currently stranded in the country due to military and paramilitary clashes.
“PM Modi received first-hand report of conditions on ground, with focus on safety of over 3,000 Indians in Sudan. PM Modi instructed relevant officials to remain vigilant, closely monitor developments and evaluate safety of all Indian nationals.
"He also asked the officials to prepare a contingency evacuation plan, accounting for rapidly shifting security landscape, viability of options,” the Prime Minister’s office stated, reported The Indian Express.
"PM Modi expressed his condolences on the passing away of an Indian national who fell victim to a stray bullet last week,” it added.
A day after expressing concerns over the tense situation in Sudan, India announced its focus on ensuring the safety and well-being of the Indian community residing in the country.
The government further stated that it is devising contingency plans, including evacuation measures.
Sudan has had 413 deaths and 3,551 injuries in the past six days due to conflict, according to the World Health Organization.
Around 30 members of Karnataka's Hakki Pikki tribe are currently stranded in the city of El-Fasher, Sudan, due to the conflict between the military and a powerful paramilitary force.
This also resulted in a heated exchange between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on the issue over Twitter.
"Hakki Pikkis in Sudan are left stranded without food since the last few days & the govt is yet to initiate action to bring them back," Siddaramaiah said in a tweet.
Taking offence, Jaishankar responded to Siddaramaiah's tweet, asserting that he was already engaged in bringing back stranded Indian nationals:
“Simply appalled at your tweet! There are lives at stake; don’t do politics. Since the fighting started on April 14th, the Embassy of India in Khartoum has been continuously in touch with most Indian Nationals and PIOs in Sudan."
EAM Jaishankar talked to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres about the deteriorating situation in the African country. He emphasised the importance of successful diplomacy in achieving an early ceasefire and ensuring the safety and well-being of the people.
Previously, Jaishankar had a discussion with his counterparts from Saudi Arabia and the UAE regarding the ongoing crisis in Sudan.
Sudan is experiencing conflict due to a power struggle within its military leadership. The conflict is between the armed forces, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and a paramilitary force, known as the Rapid Support Forces and led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.
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