External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Thursday said the government is in continuous touch with Indians stuck in Sudan where fighting has been raging between forces loyal to Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
An unspecified number of Indians are said to be stranded in Sudan amid the military and political crisis.
The EAM said: “Our team in Delhi is in continuous touch with the Indians in Sudan, advising them, saying we know it’s very difficult for everybody but keep calm and don’t take unnecessary risk. I hope that the efforts will yield something very soon.”
There have been violent clashes in Sudan for nearly six days between the country’s army and a paramilitary group over a proposed timeline for handing over power to a civilian government.
The EAM on Thursday also met UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the two discussed the current developments in Sudan.
“We had a very good meeting. Most of our meeting was on the Sudan situation. We also discussed the G20, and Ukraine conflict, but essentially it was about Sudan,” the EAM told ANI.
“In Sudan, the UN is trying to establish a ceasefire and that is really key because at the moment, unless there is a ceasefire and unless there are corridors, it’s not safe for people really to come out,” Jaishankar said.
The EAM further said that “So, the UN is doing its bit, talking to everybody. We have obviously very strong interest in the matter because many Indians are there.”
The EAM said, “The focus is on how you get the diplomatic processes to yield the desired result and the desired result is workable, on the ground observed ceasefire and then to take the next step on how you create corridors for movement, what are the options for movement, what are the assembly points.”
Jaishankar is in New York on his way to countries in Latin America on an official visit.
Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the MEA is in contact with the Indian embassy in Sudan.
“This is an issue on which we are keeping a very close watch and the evolving situation there,” Mr Bagchi said.
“Our mission in Khartoum is in contact the Indian community there through formal and informal channels. Our embassy has issued several advisories,” he added.
A control room has also been opened in New Delhi to address the concerns more efficiently. “We have set up a 24×7 dedicated control room for providing information and assistance,” Mr Bagchi informed.
“Most of the calls are being received in Khartoum. However, are people who are contacting here (MEA office in New Delhi). More than 100 calls have been received in less than 24 hours,” Mr Bagchi informed.
On the death of an Indian in Sudan, Bagchi said, “There has been an unfortunate death of one Indian national. His body is currently at a hospital after a lot of effort, we have been able to get that body move from his apartment complex into a mortuary. Our embassy is in touch with the family of the deceased as well as the medical authorities there.”
“We are engaged with countries in the region and other countries that have a key role to play particularly, the US, UK, Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” Mr Bagchi said.
“Our ambassador in Washington DC and High Commission in London are in touch with the respective host governments. We are also working with various UN Bodies that are present since the UN has a significant presence there,” he added.
World powers have condemned the situation in Sudan and have called for peace.
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