V.K. Singh to lead evacuation of Indians

V.K. Singh to lead evacuation of Indians from South Sudan

New Delhi, July 13 (IANS) Two IAF C-17 Globemasters will take off for Juba in South Sudan on Thursday to evacuate around 500 Indian nationals from the violence-hit African nation, the MEA said on Wednesday.

Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh is to lead the evacuation.

“Two C-17s proceeding to Juba tomorrow with @Gen_VKSingh leading evacuation from South Sudan,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

Embassies and aid organisations in South Sudan are moving to evacuate staff from the capital, Juba, amid a tenuous ceasefire declared on Monday night after days of fighting between forces loyal to longtime rivals Vice President Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir.

South Sudan’s government has said at least 272 have been killed, including 33 civilians, in five days of fighting that has raised fears of a return to civil war.

The Indian embassy in Juba in a statement said the flight is expected to reach Juba at 11 a.m. local time and Indian nationals with valid travel documents will be allowed to board.

The flight will be only up to New Delhi, the statement said.

The UN said 36,000 South Sudanese civilians have fled their homes due to the fighting.

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