New Delhi: The Government has made arrangements for the evacuation of Indians from South Sudan and set up a task force to closely monitor developments in the war-torn country, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Tuesday.
She held a high-level meeting during which ways to coordinate emergency assistance to Indians there were also discussed. “We have made all arrangements to evacuate Indians from South Sudan in case the situation deteriorates further,” Swaraj said, noting that the situation in that country has reportedly improved since last night.
Asserting that security of Indians was most important to the government, she said, “Even if the situation remains okay, we will ask them if they want to return and we will get them out of there.”
According to news agency reports, the minister said there are about 600 Indians in South Sudan, of them 450 are in Juba (capital city of South Sudan) and nearly 150 are outside Juba, where the fighting is taking place at present. South Sudan’s Capital is witnessing heavy fighting due to clashes between former rebels and government soldiers in several parts of the city.
“The security situation in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, has deteriorated since July 7, 2016. We have reports of gun fire and fighting on the streets of Juba making any movement virtually impossible. Ministry of External Affairs advises all Indian nationals against all travel to South Sudan till situation improves,” the MEA had earlier said in its advisory.
Meanwhile, South Sudan’s president and his estranged deputy ordered a ceasefire after a new day of heavy fighting in the capital that sent thousands fleeing and threatened a return to civil war.