Federal government takes action on trapped Nigerian students in Sudan

Nigerian students are still trapped in Khartoum, Sudan amidst the ongoing deadly fighting in the Northeast African country. POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the Federal Government has disclosed that 40 buses are on the ground and ready to transport the students from Khartoum to Cairo, as preparations are being made to evacuate approximately 5,500 stranded Nigerians out of Sudan via the Egyptian town of Luxor.

The Nigerian government has sought the support of Egypt to ensure a safe transfer of the stranded Nigerians. The Embassy of Nigeria in Sudan made a formal request in a letter dated April 23, 2023, signed by the Charge D’ Affairs, Haruna Garko, for buses to convey students from Khartoum to Cairo on Tuesday at 6 am. The letter read “I am directed to request the services of your 200 seater buses to convey 3500 Nigerian students from Khartoum to Cairo Egypt on 25 April 2023, at 6 am in the morning.”

This move comes as other foreign countries rush to evacuate their nationals from Sudan amidst the ongoing deadly fighting between forces loyal to two rival generals. Many foreigners have fled the capital city of Khartoum in a long United Nations convoy, while millions of frightened residents have taken refuge inside their homes, with many running low on basic supplies such as water and food. The city of five million has become a battleground with army and paramilitary troops engaging in ferocious street battles since April 15, leaving behind charred tanks, gutted buildings, and looted shops.

Speaking with the Punch on Tuesday, a student who pleaded anonymous said “We are still in Khartoum. The Embassy has moved the time to 12pm. I am afraid that the Embassy might change their mind. The President of the Jigawa State Students Association in Sudan, Umar Abubakar, said, “we are yet to move.” In a forwarded message sent to the students and sighted by our correspondent on Tuesday read “Hello all. Please due some logistics issues there will be delay for the take up as earlier announced.

“Once arrangements are concluded, we will announced. “Therefore, people should endeavour to stay where they are in the interim. But we assure you we are going by the grace of God. “Thank you for your understanding.” The United Nations has reported that over 420 people have been killed and thousands wounded amidst fears of a humanitarian disaster in one of the world’s poorest nations.

Kenyan investigators on Tuesday exhumed 10 more bodies from mass graves linked to a starvation cult, bringing the total number of victims to 83, an AFP journalist at the scene said, as fears grow of the toll spiking even further.

Police have spent days scouring the Shakahola forest near the coastal town of Malindi after receiving a tip-off about a cult led by Paul Mackenzie Nthenge, who urged his followers to starve to death in order to find God. The 10 bodies recovered on Tuesday included three children, as emergency workers clad in white jumpsuits exhumed their remains from shallow graves and also found two emaciated survivors, according to the AFP journalist.

The grim discovery has sent shockwaves through the country, prompting President William Ruto to pledge a crackdown on “unacceptable” religious movements. As the fatalities mounted, authorities at the state-run Malindi Sub-County Hospital warned Tuesday that the morgue was running out of space to store the bodies and already operating well over capacity. “The hospital mortuary has a capacity of 40 bodies,” said the hospital’s administrator Said Ali, adding that officials had reached out to the Kenya Red Cross for refrigerated containers.

It is believed that some followers of the Good News International Church could still be hiding in the bush around Shakahola and at risk of death if not quickly found. Hussein Khalid, executive director of the rights group Haki Africa that tipped off the police, urged the authorities to send more rescuers to scour the 325-hectare (800-acre) area of woodland for survivors. “Each day that passes by there is very high possibility that more are dying,” he told AFP.

“The horror that we have seen over the last four days is traumatising. Nothing prepares you for shallow mass graves of children.” Investigators told AFP they found bodies squeezed into shallow pits — with up to six people inside one grave — while others were simply left outside on the ground. Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome told reporters on Monday that 29 people had been rescued and taken to hospital.

Source: Channels TV

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