While Nigerian government explained on Friday that evacuation of stranded Nigerians in the war-torn nation of Sudan is almost impossible due to the “tense situation” in that country, the government of United Kingdom has reportedly placed UK troops on standby to rescue thousands of British citizens trapped in the Sudanese civil war.
Explaining the difficulty faced by the Nigerian government, the chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said that although the Nigerian Mission in Sudan and the National Emergency Management Agency had put in place arrangements to evacuate the citizens, it was impossible for any flight to land in Sudan during this period of war.
In a statement issued by the spokesperson for NIDCOM, Gabriel Odu, the commission said the tense situation in Sudan makes it gravely risky and impossible to embark on any evacuation mission.
In the UK, the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak had already chaired two COBRA meetings aimed at strategizing on how to rescue trapped British nationals in the country. Key officials from the Ministry of Defence and Foreign Office participated in the meeting.
According to UK The Sun newspaper, a government spokesperson said: “We recognise that the situation is extremely concerning for British nationals trapped by the fighting in Sudan.
“We are doing everything possible to support British nationals and diplomatic staff in Khartoum, and the Ministry of Defence is working with the Foreign Office to prepare for a number of contingencies.”
The spokesperson added: “We are coordinating across government and with our international partners to provide the best ongoing consular assistance to British nationals and support for our diplomatic staff.
“We will continue to issue updates as the situation develops.”
A defence source told The Sun that sending troops to the region “should be seen as prudent planning”.
The report also indicates that a fleet of RAF C-17 transport planes are on standby to repeat Operation Pitting – the mass evacuation of Kabul in 2021.
At least 400 people have died and thousands more have been injured since rival factions of Sudan’s army attacked each other.
Russian’s private Army, the Wagner Group is allegedly responsible for arming the the leader of Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces battling Sudan’s army.