Nigerian students numbering over 1,262 have appealed to the Federal Government to evacuate them from the Republic of Sudan where a fierce military confrontation between the Sudanese armed forces and the paramilitary group, Rapid Support Force, has claimed 330 lives with 3,200 injured.
The Secretary-General of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Sudan, Adam Mohammed, who said this in an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday, lamented that many students had run out of food
The clashes had also displaced thousands of civilians who fled the capital, Khartoum, even as some foreign nations, including Japan, Uganda and Tanzania had begun evacuating their nationals as the violence which started on April 8 entered its 12th day on Thursday.
Until recently, the Sudanese Armed Forces, led by General Abdel al-Burhan, and the RSF paramilitary group, headed by General Mohamed Dagalo were allies.
They worked together in 2019 in a popular uprising that overthrew Sudan’s brutal dictator, Omar al-Bashir, who ruled the country for three decades.
After the coup, a power-sharing government was formed, made up of civilian and military groups.
The plan was for the interim government to rule Sudan for a few years and oversee a transition to a civilian administration but in 2021, al-Burhan, who had become chief of the power-sharing council, dissolved it, declaring he would instead hold elections in 2023.
The current fighting broke out between the army and the RSF as a result of failed negotiations over integrating the two forces ahead of the intended restoration of civilian rule.
There was disagreement over which general would be subordinate to the other, and how quickly the RSF would be incorporated into the Sudanese military.
Heavy fighting broke out on April 8, with the cities of Khartoum and Obdurman being turned into battlefields.
Though two ceasefires were agreed upon by the warring factions, both failed to stop the violence.
However, speaking with our correspondent on Thursday, the Secretary-General, NANS in Sudan, Mohammed, said no student had been hurt in the course of the war but he lamented that students were experiencing food shortages, electricity outages, and telecommunication blackouts.
Mohammed disclosed that he had written to the Federal Government about their situation, adding that moves to evacuate the stranded citizens were in top gear.
He further revealed that 1,262 Nigerian students had filled the evacuation forms as of Wednesday night.
The Secretary-General said, “Everything is under control because the Nigerian Embassy in Sudan has spoken to the Nigerian government and preparations are ongoing. The Nigerian government is trying to send in some planes to evacuate Nigerian students in Sudan.
“Also, the members of the Parent-Guardian Association of Nigeria whose children or wards are schooling in Sudan have spoken to the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa to assist in the evacuation of Nigerian students. In summary, the situation concerning the Nigerian students here is under control.
“Presently, none of the Nigerian students in Sudan is hurt because everyone is indoors and they have all cooperated with us. So far, no light, water, bad (telecoms) network and some students have been complaining of no food and they cannot go out and restock.
“The current number of Nigerian students that filled their forms as of last night that are ready for the evacuation is 1,262.”