New Delhi: As part of ‘Operation Sankat Mochan’, India will send two Indian Air Force (IAF) C-17 globemaster military transport aircraft to war-torn South Sudan’s capital city Juba on Thursday to evacuate hundreds of Indians stranded there.
The exercise will be led by Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. (retd.) V.K. Singh who had earlier personally monitored the rescue operations and evacuation of thousands of Indians and foreign nationals by India from Yemen in West Asia.
The former Army chief had camped in nearby Djibouti in Africa last year to lead the Indian Government’s efforts in carrying out the Yemen evacuations and had earned enormous praise for the successful evacuations.
“We are launching Operation Sankat Mochan to evacuate Indian nationals from South Sudan. My colleague @Gen_VKSingh is leading this operation. He will be accompanied by (the MEA’s) Secretary (Economic Relations) Amar Sinha, Joint Secretary Satbir Singh and Director Anjani Kumar. Our Ambassador in South Sudan Srikumar Menon and his team is organising this operation on the ground. Thanks to my colleague (Defence Minister) Manohar Parrikar and my best wishes to the brave Indian Air Force who are carrying out Operation Sankat Mochan,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.
“The General takes charge again! 2 C-17s proceeding to Juba tomorrow with @Gen_VKSingh leading evacuation from South Sudan,” MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
The relief flight is expected to reach Juba on Thursday morning, an official advisory said, adding only Indian nationals with valid Indian travel document will be allowed boarding with maximum five kg cabin baggage and no check-in baggage.
India has been closely monitoring developments in South Sudan, which is witnessing heavy fighting between former rebels and government soldiers in several parts of the city.