Azman Air Receives FG’s Permission To Evacuate Nigerians In Egypt
By Abdullahi Ahmad Bamalli
Azman Air has received permission by the Federal Government to evacuate Nigerians “stuck on at the Egyptian border” due to the ongoing war in Sudan.
Head of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, on Monday, said Egypt had opened its borders to Nigerian students fleeing the war in Sudan.
Hours later, the Nigerian airline in a tweet announced that it had received Federal Government permission to start the evacuation process on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.
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“Azman Air has received the approval of the federal government to evacuate Nigerians stranded at the Egyptian border amid the Sudan crisis with the 409-seater Airbus A340-600,” the aviation firm tweeted.
“Evacuation is expected to commence from Tuesday 2nd May as we await final clearance from Egypt to depart.”
Meanwhile, prior to this development, the federal government had sent 40 buses to evacuate Nigerians from Sudan following the civil unrest that erupted in the Northeast region.
The buses cost the authorities about $1.2 million.
Geoffery Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, said the high cost of the evacuation was to provide security cover for the Nigerians’ journey to the Egyptian borders.
Last week, the government said it expected the first batch of Nigerians stranded in Sudan to arrive in Abuja on Friday.
It also said a boeing 777 from Air Peace would depart Lagos and transport the first batch home, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
However, things didn’t go as planned owing to unexplained diplomatic constraints.
The conflict between Sudan’s army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group, has killed over 400 people and left many stranded.
Thousands of civilians have fled Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, with foreign nations making efforts to evacuate their citizens.
Successful evacuations had commenced since the RSF agreed to a 72-hour cease-fire plea following a series of mediation from the United States.