A total of 74 Ghanaians evacuated from conflict-stricken Sudan are expected to arrive home today (Tuesday), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (MFARI) has announced.
A statement issued by the Ministry said, arrangement were ongoing to fly them to Accra from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where they were initially taken to safety.
It said those coming home were amongst 76 Ghanaians, who successfully crossed the Sudan/Ethiopia border with the assistance of officials of the Ghana Embassy in Ethiopia.
Additionally, the MFARI said one footballer and two engineers had been assisted by officials of the Ghana Embassy in Egypt to cross over the Egyptian border post of WadiHalfa, north of Sudan, while two other footballers were going through immigration formalities.
“The Ministry wishes to reiterate its commitment to evacuate all willing Ghanaian nationals in Sudan to safety to neighbouring countries such as Ethiopia and Egypt,” it said.
In that regard, the statement said, those in need of assistance should contact Mr Peter OkoeAgoeAllswell (Egypt ) on +201-55441-4228; Mr Samuel Asante (Ethiopia) +251-94242-1242 and Mr Osama Ataaelmanan (Sudan) on WhatsApp via +249-92920-0000 / +249-91239-2570
“The Ministry will continue to keep the public abreast of any new development regarding the evacuation exercise,” it said.
It is recalled that the government, through the Ministry, last Tuesday, announced plans to evacuate Ghanaians, including many students from Sudan, where a deadly conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), has resulted in casualties.
The ministry said it was working with the Ghana Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, which has concurrent accreditation to the Sudan and Ghana’s Honorary Consulate in Khartoum, the Sudan capital to secure their safe passage to Ethiopia.
Hundreds of foreigners are fleeing Sudan as the country entered a third week of fighting between rival military forces despite a ceasefire.
The North African country has been rocked by a deadly clash between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary (RSF), which has resulted in fatalities, affected many civilians especially in Khartoum, the epicentre of the conflict.
Rival factions of Sudan’s military agreed to renew a three-day ceasefire, shortly before it was due to expire.
The extension – for another 72 hours – follows intensive diplomatic efforts by neighbouring countries, as well as the US, UK and UN.
But there are continuing reports of heavy fighting in the capital Khartoum.
The previous truce allowed thousands of people to attempt to flee to safety, while dozens of countries have tried to evacuate their citizens.
Almost two weeks of fighting between the army and a rival paramilitary group have left hundreds dead. The ceasefire had been expected to end at midnight local time (22:00 GMT on Thursday).
Early on Thursday evening the Sudanese regular army agreed to an extension, and its rival the paramilitary RSF followed suit hours later.
South Sudan has offered to host peace talks, and the army has agreed to send representatives to the talks.
Despite the bitter past and years of conflict that led to South Sudan’s separation from Sudan in 2011, the two nations now enjoy cordial relations.
Photos to provide pix of Shirley AyorkoBotchway, minister of Foreign Affairs