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Second batch of Nigerians return from Sudan

Photo: Archive/Radio Nigeria

The second batch of Nigerian evacuees have arrived the country from Sudan.

The evacuees numbering 130 were airlifted from the Port Sudan border by Tarmac airline.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Humanitarians Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo received them at the General Aviation Terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Earlier today, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management in a joint statement said the returnees include men, women and children.

Giving the breakdown, Dr Sani-Gwarzo said out of the 130 evacuees, 128 are females and children and two men.

“We are going to continue to prioritise the return of women, the females until every one of them is out there. All the people that arrived came from one port that is the port Sudan in the Republic of Sudan. It is unique because the bulk of our people after facing the initial difficulties on the border of Egypt, we move them to the port of Sudan,” he said.

On the evacuation of the remaining Nigerians in Sudan, the Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Mustapha Habib, said about 800 persons are heading out from Egypt border to Aswan where aircrafts are on ground to airlift them.

“We have Max air in the capacity of 560 passengers. Azman in the capacity of 400 passengers already we have activated Air peace we are waiting for the feedback”, he explained.

Evacuee recalls encounter

A student, Hamida Abubakar said bullets were piercing through the school’s windows and she had to move to another school.

Another student who pleaded anonymity said he was worried as his studies has been disrupted.

“We were studying with the intention of completing our degree and as much as master’s and doctorate but the things that have occurred is making us worry. There was no food, water and people had their families. We passed through a lot of which the government of Nigeria tried to help us as we cried out. They got us where to stay and food and as God would have it today, we were taken and returned to Nigeria”, he said.

Returnees and Government Officials at the Airport. Photo. Chinasa Ossai/Radio Nigeria

Rehabilitation for evacuees

Meanwhile, Director Migration, Mrs Cathrine Udida from the Federal Commissioner of National Commission for Refugees, Migrant and Internally Displaced Persons said the commission would ensure the evacuees find education placements in schools.

‘We have a team of psychosocial support, most of them are already traumatized, as you can see. And so going forward, we’ll be able to make sure we provide psychosocial support to all of the students that have come back and then follow up several weeks after to ensure that they have properly settled in and able to live a normal life after the trauma” she said.

Also in the Airport was Jamila Suleiman who was visible worried that her brother was not on the flight.

“We were expectant, but they said maybe tonight or tomorrow. My brother is stranded there. whenever we try his number its always switched off. yesterday, he called us, then the phone abruptly went off and that has put us in a dilemma,” she said.

The first batch of 376 evacuees had arrived Abuja through Air force and Air peace planes on Wednesday.

Reporting by Chinasa Ossai; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu