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Operation Kaveri to evacuate Indian nationals from Sudan

A civil war broke out in Sudan on April 15, 2023.

Operation Kaveri at Sudan (Image: Twitter/@MEAIndia)

India has launched a rescue effort, "Operation Kaveri" to evacuate its citizens from war-hit Sudan. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi revealed that the first batch of stranded Indians (278 individuals) were rescued from Sudan in INS Sumedha.

Indian nationals rescued from Sudan (Image: Twitter/@MEAIndia)

External Affairs Minister S Jaisankar said that the Indian government is "committed to assisting all our brethren in Sudan." He informed that around 500 Indians have reached Port Sudan so far, while more are on their way. Port Sudan is situated 850 km away from Sudan’s capital city Khartoum. "Operation Kaveri gets underway to bring back our citizens stranded in Sudan," he wrote on Twitter.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi disclosed that the rescue operation is "overseen by the son of Kerala and the Minister of our government, Muraleedharan." He made this remark while addressing the Yuvam Conclave in Kochi recently.  

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Sunday, April 23, 2023, revealed that they 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,” the ministry said in a statement. Two Indian Air Force C-130J have been positioned on standby in Jeddah and INS Sumedha has reached Port Sudan, the ministry revealed on Sunday.

As per data on the website of the Indian embassy in Khartoum, around 2,800 Indian nationals are in Sudan. Meanwhile, France has evacuated some Indian nationals along with citizens of 27 other countries. Sudanese airspace remains closed for all foreign aircraft, MEA revealed on Sunday.

Sudan is facing a civil war due to a conflict between the country’s army and a paramilitary group. The two generals behind the conflict are Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the leader of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, the head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The war broke out on April 15, 2023, costing the lives of over 427 individuals, including at least 273 civilians and over 3,700 wounded.