The Federal Government has declared the closing of its situation room on the evacuation of Nigerian students stuck in war-torn Sudan.
It did, however, state that the focus will now move to repatriating other Nigerians living in Sudan.
Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and Chairman of the Situation Room, made the announcement on Monday during a press conference in Abuja.
Gwarzo stated that the government has formed a rescue operations committee to help in the repatriation of other Nigerians living in Sudan who seek to come home.
“We acknowledge the presence of other Nigerians in Sudan, such as recent visitors and long-established families who wish to return home.”
”The ministry has established a dedicated committee to facilitate their repatriation, replicating the successful efforts made for the students.
”As the evacuation operation concludes, the situation room responsible for its oversight is officially closed today.
”A standby team will remain prepared for any future emergencies,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary encouraged students to report any of their colleagues who may have been missed during the evacuation.
”An inspiring example of the operation’s effectiveness lies in the story of a young girl with chronic asthma, unintentionally left behind due to hospitalization.
”Through diligent efforts, she was located and successfully brought back to Nigeria in one of the final evacuation flights, underscoring the operation’s efficacy.
”The majority of Nigerians in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, have already been repatriated from Sudan, with only 13 individuals remaining, and prompt efforts are underway to bring them home.
”In N’djamena, Chad, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, all Nigerians have returned, except for nine and seven individuals, respectively, who will soon reunite with their families.
”Notably, all 800 travellers who transited through Egypt have successfully returned home,” he said.
Gwarzo said that the Nigerian Embassy in Sudan has actively profiled these individuals and has established a committee dedicated to facilitating their safe passage to Nigeria.
”While the exact number of those awaiting repatriation remains undisclosed, the committee has already begun assessing logistics and examining necessary paperwork.
”To streamline the process, Port Sudan has been designated as the official collection centre, and we advise all evacuees to relocate there,” he said.
He said that the successful evacuation exercise of 2,518 stranded Nigerians from Sudan was a testament to the government’s commitment to the welfare and well-being of Nigerian citizens abroad.