The Federal Government will on Wednesday commence the evacuation of about 5,500 Nigerians, including students stranded in Khartoum and other cities in Sudan.
To facilitate the repatriation, the government has released N150m for hiring 40 buses to convey its desperate citizens from Sudan to Cairo in Egypt.
The money was paid to an undisclosed transport company on Tuesday at 12:37 pm by the Central Bank of Nigeria through the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, confirmed on Tuesday that the payment had been made, noting that the evacuees would take off on Wednesday morning.
The evacuation is taking place against the backdrop of the three-day ceasefire starting midnight Tuesday declared by the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid Support Force.
The Director of the Special Duties, National Emergency Management Agency, who doubles as Chairman of NEMA’s Committee for the Evacuation of the Stranded Nigerians from Sudan, Dr Onimode Bandele, had said the government met with government officials in Egypt on how to move Nigerians through Luxor.
Foreign countries are taking advantage of the temporary suspension of hostilities to move their nationals from Sudan as deadly fighting between the two forces entered the second week.
The clashes broke out between erstwhile allies, General Abdel al-Burha, who heads the Sudanese Armed Forces and leader of the RSF paramilitary group, General Mohamed Dagalo, over a power-sharing disagreement.
The conflict had so far claimed about 500 lives with thousands of others injured and millions displaced.
Punch/ Oluwayemisi Owonikoko