Abuja — A group of 130 Nigerians evacuated from Sudan arrived in the Nigerian capital of Abuja on Friday, about 36 hours after another group of nearly 400, mostly students, had landed.
The arrivals — 128 females and two males — were evacuated from Port Sudan on the Red Sea and received by Nigerian officials. More evacuations are expected in coming days.
Nasir Sani Gwarzo, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, told a crowd that Nigerians who fled Sudan to Egypt also will be brought home.
“We’re getting good cooperation from the Nigerian communities that are living in that port,” said Gwarzo. “In the next few hours, we shall have no Nigerian stranded in the Egyptian side.”
Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency estimates some 5,000 Nigerians were in Sudan when fighting broke out on April 15 between Sudan’s military and the paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces.
On Wednesday, Nigeria evacuated 376 Nigerians from Sudan. Gwarzo said hundreds more will be evacuated soon.
Ismail Aliyu, chairman of the nonprofit Center for Peace and Literacy Propagation, said students sponsored by the nonprofit to study in Sudan have yet to be evacuated.
“As I speak right now, none of my students is back from Sudan, they’re still in Port Sudan,” Aliyu said. “The most important thing is that most of the students have left the war zone.”
Authorities said the evacuation was delayed by logistics and bottlenecks at the Sudanese-Egyptian border.
“Some Nigerians were claimed to have entered the bus without permission which caused the Egyptian side to delay the flight until that was sorted,” said Gwarzo. “The Nigerians have now been moved into the Egyptian side of the border and we have two planes that can carry all of them at the same time.”
NEMA said authorities have expanded partnerships with more airlines to evacuate the remaining nationals as soon as possible.