India launches ‘Operation Kaveri’ to bring back citizens stranded in Sudan

India launches ‘Operation Kaveri’ to bring back citizens stranded in Sudan

India has started ‘Operation Kaveri’ to evacuate its nationals from conflict-torn Sudan, Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar announced. According to available information around 3,000 Indians are stuck in various parts of Sudan, including capital Khartoum and in distant provinces like Darfur.

India had earlier stationed two C-130J heavy-lift aircraft in Jeddah and sent INS Sumedha in Port Said for the operation. The evacuation acquired urgency in view of the total breakdown of the essential services in Sudan where shortage of food, water and electricity had brought to a standstill.

In a message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the operation to evacuate Indians is being supervised by Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan. “Due to the civil war in Sudan, many of our people are stuck there.

The political crisis in Sudan turned into a countrywide armed conflict on April 15 after disagreement between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) over the Security Sector Reform (SSR) spiralled into an armed confrontation between the commanders of the two wings. The conflict left hundreds of Indians stranded in the airport in Khartoum who subsequently took shelter in nearby hotels as fighting intensified.

The fighting also enveloped the Indian Embassy in Khartoum that forced the Indian diplomats to work remotely while they maintained contact with the members of the Indian community stranded in the country. Sources had earlier told The Hindu that the Embassy was in contact with all sides in the conflict and was urging them for a ceasefire to ensure speedy evacuation of Indians. A WhatsApp group was created on April 16 to coordinate for safety and possible evacuation.