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Nigerian students fleeing Sudan stranded

Some Nigerian students escaping the unrest in Sudan got stranded on Thursday. Following the three-day ceasefire declared by the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid…

Some Nigerian students escaping the unrest in Sudan got stranded on Thursday.

Following the three-day ceasefire declared by the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid Support Force, countries have been making efforts to evacuate their citizens.

On Wednesday, the Nigerian government had said N150m was released for hiring 40 buses to convey some Nigerians from Sudan to Cairo in Egypt, from where they would be airlifted to Nigeria.

But some of the students being evacuated to safety shared bitter experiences about the journey.

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An affected student, who did not disclose her identity, said the drivers have vowed not to continue the journey owing to lack of funds.

“Before we started this journey, we experienced different things. Can you believe that we have been stuck in this desert for 5 hours. We don’t know the situation we are in.

“We don’t have water. Our money has finished. Can you imagine? The drivers said they are not moving their buses because they have not been paid. We are stuck in the desert. We don’t have anything. We don’t even know where we are. We are in an unknown location and in a very big danger.”

But Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), said the issue had been resolved and the evacuation process had continued.

“I have just spoken to the @nemanigeria. They have started moving and the issues between Nema and the transport company have been resolved,” she tweeted after the video of the affected students went viral.

Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Zubairu Dada, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, had said they wanted to utilise the 72-hour ceasefire to evacuate as many Nigerians in Sudan as possible.

About 5,500 Nigerians, including students, were stranded in Khartoum and other cities of Sudan as a result of the conflict.

Clashes broke out between erstwhile allies, General Abdel al-Burha, who heads the Sudanese Armed Forces and leader of the RSF paramilitary group, General Mohamed Dagalo, over a power-sharing disagreement.

The conflict had so far claimed about 500 lives with thousands of others injured and millions displaced.

Foreigners are also fleeing Khartoum in a long-United Nations convoy, while millions of frightened residents hunkered down inside their homes, many running low on water and food.

Dada said the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and staff of the Nigerian commission in Egypt and Ethiopia are currently on the ground in the Egyptian border in Aswan to receive close to 40 luxury buses conveying Nigerians who had left the Sudanese capital, Khartoum by road.

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