The first batch of Three Hundred and Seventy Six (376) Nigerians airlifted from Aswan, Egypt in the wake of the ongoing security challenges in Sudan have arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Ninety Four (94) of such Nigerians were flown in NAF 913 C-130H aircraft, at 2254 UTC (11.54pm local time) last night, 3 May 2023.
The Director of Public Relations & Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Ayodele Famuyiwa in a Statement on Thursday disclosed that the NAF’s effort is in furtherance of its constitutional role of aid to civil authority, and in line with the commitment by the Federal Government to rescue and successfully return back home Nigerians living in Sudan.
“The airlift operation is most heart warming as it coincides with the NAF’s 59th anniversary celebration holding in Enugu from 4-7 May 2023,” the DOPRI enthused.
Fighting broke out on Saturday, April 15 between Sudan Armed Forces and the Paramilitary RSF after an attempt to integrate both parties broke down.
This humanitarian assistance by the Nigerian Air Force and other well-meaning Nigerians has, however, ended days of anxieties with regards to the safety of Nigerian citizens in the troubled country and raised hope about those yet to be airlifted.
The death toll since the fighting between the rival factions erupted is on the upwards of 500 people as dozens more including Nigerians caught up in the crossfires flee the capital, Khartoum.
On hand to receive the returnees on arrival were the Honourable Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq; the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Nasir Sani Gwarzo; Director General National Emergency Management Agency, Ahmed Habib; and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa.