India continues evacuations from Sudan, ceasefire extended for another 72 hours

Yet another batch of Indians flew home from crisis hit Sudan on Sunday evening with a ceasefire set to end at midnight. Tens of thousands have left the country in recent days as fighting continues and former officials warn of the “nightmare” risk of a descent into full-scale civil war. Fighting continued in some areas on Sunday even as the paramilitary RSF indicated that the tenuous truce would continue for another three days.

“A C-130J Indian Airforce flight has landed in New Delhi with 40 passengers. With this flight, around 2300 people have reached India,” tweeted External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday evening. 

Meanwhile an IAF C-130J transported 135 Indians from Port Sudan to Jeddah. The country has so far brought home around 2,000 people with many others waiting at an interim camp in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah.

Under “Operation Kaveri”, India has been taking its citizens from the conflict zones of Khartoum and other troubled areas to Port Sudan in buses. From where they are being taken to Jeddah in the IAF’s heavy-lift transport aircraft and the Indian Navy’s ships.

Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands wounded since a long-simmering power struggle between the Sudanese army and the RSF erupted into conflict on April 15. The parties have fought on for about three weeks now – despite a series of ceasefires secured by mediators including the United States. The latest truce period – set to end at midnight – was extended with mere hours to spare. 

“In response to international, regional and local calls, we announce the extension of the humanitarian truce for 72 hours, starting from midnight tonight, in order to open humanitarian corridors and facilitate the movement of citizens and residents and enable them to fulfil their needs and reach safe areas,” an RSF statement said.

Sudan’s former premier Abdalla Hamdok warned Saturday that the conflict could deteriorate into one of the world’s worst civil wars.

“God forbid if Sudan is to reach a point of civil war proper… Syria, Yemen, Libya will be a small play. I think it would be a nightmare for the world,” Hamdok said during an event in Nairobi.

(With inputs from agencies)

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