India kicks off Operation Kaveri to bring back citizens stranded in Sudan

India’s operation to evacuate its citizens from Sudan, which is currently in the middle of deadly clashes between the country’s army and paramilitary forces, kicked off on Monday afternoon with 500 people reaching the port, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said.

“Operation Kaveri gets underway to bring back our citizens stranded in Sudan. About 500 Indians have reached Port Sudan. More on their way. Our ships and aircraft are set to bring them back home. Committed to assist all our bretheren in Sudan,” Jaishankar tweeted.

The government has already moved two Indian Air Force (IAF) planes and a Navy ship to evacuate the citizens. “As part of our preparations, and in order to move swiftly, the Government of India is pursuing multiple options. Two Indian Air Force C-130J are currently positioned on standby in Jeddah. And, INS Sumedha has reached Port Sudan,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement on Sunday.

It said the government is making “all out efforts” to ensure the safety and security of stranded Indians. “We are closely monitoring the complex and evolving security situation in Sudan. We are also coordinating closely with various partners for the safe movement of those Indians who are stranded in Sudan and would like to be evacuated,” it said.

Apart from the Sudanese authorities, the MEA and the Indian Embassy in Sudan are also in regular touch with the UN, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and the US among others. Saudi Arabia on Saturday evacuated 157 people, including Indians. The Saudi foreign ministry reported that 91 of its citizens and 66 from friendly nations, arrived in Jeddah in the first announced evacuation of civilians since fighting began in the northeast African nation.

Diplomats of several Western countries like the US, UK, Sweden and France were evacuated by their governments in the past hours. Over 420 people have been killed and over 3,700 wounded in fighting between the Sudanese armed forces and the powerful paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces, according to a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).


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