The first batch of 360 Indians from crisis-hit Sudan arrived in New Delhi this evening under “Operation Kaveri”.
“India welcomes its back. #OperationKaveri brings 360 Indian nationals home as first flight reaches New Delhi,” Foreign Minister S Jaishakar tweeted, along with photos of arrival.
— dr. S.Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) April 26, 2023
The evacuation comes days after Mr Jaishankar spoke to his counterpart in Saudi Arabia. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Friday to review the security situation in Sudan.
“Operation Kaveri” is a rescue mission launched by the government to evacuate stranded Indian civilians from Sudan, where the Sudanese army and paramilitary groups are fighting.
Sudan’s warring factions agreed a 72-hour ceasefire on Monday after the US and Saudi Arabia brokered the ceasefire as countries evacuated their citizens from the country.
As part of its evacuation mission, India has set up a transit facility in Jeddah and all Indians have been taken to the Saudi Arabian coastal city after their evacuation from Sudan.
Minister of State V. Muraleedharan is in Jeddah to oversee the evacuation mission.
Earlier on Saturday, Saudi Arabia said it had evacuated 66 citizens from “fraternal and friendly” countries, including some Indian nationals from Sudan.
At least 459 people have been killed and more than 4,000 injured in fighting between the Sudanese army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitaries since mid-April, according to the WHO.
The nearly two-week urban strife has led to a mass exodus of foreigners, while the UN has warned of a massive new refugee crisis.
Foreign governments have frantically organized road convoys, planes and ships to get thousands of their nationals out of Sudan, and civilians have fled overland to neighboring countries.