the Federal Government acknowledged that several Nigerian students who were escaping the turmoil in Sudan had been turned away from Ethiopia,
A grab taken from an AFPTV video shows a convoy leaving Khartoum towards Port Sudan, on April 23, 2023, as people flee the battle-torn Sudanese capital. (Photo by Abubakarr JALLOH / AFP)

Ethiopia Turns Away Nigerian Students Escaping From Sudan War

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On Monday, the Federal Government acknowledged that several Nigerian students who were escaping the turmoil in Sudan had been turned away from Ethiopia, but it assured them that the matter was being handled.

The Federal Government stressed that it was perilous for the students to have set out on such a trek, but said that Nigerian officials in Ethiopia were taking care of the situation after seeking permission for the fleeing students.

After earlier attempts to halt the bloodshed abruptly failed, Sudan’s warring generals have agreed to a three-day truce beginning on Tuesday (2200 GMT Monday), according to United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“Following intense negotiation over the past 48 hours, the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces have agreed to implement a nationwide ceasefire starting at midnight on April 24, to last for 72 hours,” Blinken said in a statement two hours prior to the ceasefire’s scheduled start time.
The US requests that the SAF and RSF swiftly and completely enforce the ceasefire at this time, Blinken added.

In Sudan, where a fight between competing generals turned brutally violent ten days ago, Blinken said the United States was also working with allies to establish a committee that would negotiate a long-term truce.

As the violent conflict between forces loyal to two opposing generals continued for a second week, other nations hurried to remove their citizens from Sudan.
According to UN statistics, thousands of people have been injured and over 420 people have died amid concerns of more unrest and a humanitarian catastrophe in one of the world’s poorest countries.

The plight of the students is getting the necessary attention, according to Dr. Onimode Bandele, Director of Special Duties at the National Emergency Management Agency and Chairman of NEMA’s Committee for the Evacuation of the Stranded Nigerians from Sudan.

“Yea, you must have seen on social media that some students entered a town near the Ethiopian border but were refused permission to leave.

“The embassy in Ethiopia is working on that, and hopefully they should be able to acquire a passage,” Bandele said. “The Nigerian ambassador in Egypt, Nura Rimi, confirmed to me that.

But he said, “In our own humanitarian mission, self-evacuation is at the risk of the engaged person. If you choose to leave on your own, anything you encounter will be your headache because you chose not to pay attention to the officials who are expected to look out for you.

“We sympathize with them; we comprehend their predicament; some of them are acting in a panic or attempting to flee for safety. Self-evacuation, however, is not without its drawbacks.

Therefore, we are pleading with Nigerians to patiently wait for further instructions from the Federal Government, especially the ambassador who is now traveling with them in Sudan, wherever they may be. His family is also present. It’s not like he’s deserted them and ran off,” Bandele said.

The NEMA representative added that the Federal Government has thought about utilizing the United Nations’ assistance to evacuate Nigerians trapped in Sudan.

However, he said that this was ineffective since the UN stated that it could no longer provide assistance as a result of the deaths of five UN employees in Sudan.

“We were considering whether to use the UN Utility Service, but he (Rimi) stated the UN had issued a statement saying they could not guarantee to aid anyone.

“This is due to the UN already losing five employees in Sudan. They can’t guarantee anyone, therefore they are searching for a means to defend themselves, Bandele said.

Students leave on Tuesday.

The source also learned on Monday that the stranded Nigerian students will travel by vehicle from Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, to Cairo, Egypt, on Tuesday morning.

It was discovered that the drive from Khartoum to Cairo would take approximately 28 hours and 27 minutes.

According to The source, the Federal Government said that it was putting together plans to evacuate some 5,500 trapped Nigerians from Sudan via the Egyptian town of Luxor. It also claimed that it was looking to Egypt for assistance in getting the stranded Nigerians to Luxor.

However, the Embassy of Nigeria in Sudan requested buses to transport students from Khartoum to Cairo on Tuesday at 6 am in a letter dated 23 April 2023, signed by the Charge D’ Affairs, Haruna Garko and seen by our correspondent on Monday.

I am ordering to seek your 200-seater bus services to transport 3,500 Nigerian students from Khartoum to Cairo, Egypt, on April 25, 2023, at 6 am.

Abdullah Zakari, a student at the International University of Africa, confirmed this event by saying, “Tomorrow (Tuesday), we’re going to depart for Egypt around 6 am. We’ll travel by road. However, the voyage is lengthy.

Additionally, Umar Abubakar, the president of the Jigawa State Students Association in Sudan, declared that “all arrangements from Khartoum have been made, and by God’s grace, we will depart tomorrow morning.”

The buses to transport the students already on the ground, according to a Noble College student in Sudan who asked to remain anonymous. By tomorrow morning, all pupils would be transported to Cairo.

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