External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has spoken to UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and discussed the evolving situation in Sudan, as India stepped up efforts to evacuate its stranded citizens from the strife-torn African country. Jaishankar, who arrived here in Colombia's capital from Panama, on Monday announced the launch of the mission 'Operation Kaveri' to bring back the stranded Indians from Sudan that has been witnessing fierce fighting following a power struggle between the regular army and the RSF. "Spoke to UK Foreign Secretary @JamesCleverly just now. Discussed the evolving situation in Sudan," he tweeted on Thursday.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday that his government has commenced a “large-scale” evacuation effort to help British nationals leave Sudan. "The government has begun a large-scale evacuation of British passport holders from Sudan on RAF flights. Priority will be given to the most vulnerable, including families with children and the elderly,” Sunak tweeted. Jaishankar took to Twitter to share images of the Indian evacuees after their arrival at the Delhi airport. "India welcomes back its own. Operation Kaveri brings 360 Indian nationals to the homeland as first flight reaches New Delhi," he tweeted.
"OperationKaveri takes more steps forward. Another 136 Indian Nationals have been moved to safety in Jeddah. They will come home soon," he said in another tweet. India has evacuated at least 670 Indian nationals from Sudan and is looking to rescue more of its citizens from the strife-torn African nation before the end of a tenuous ceasefire between the regular army and a paramilitary force. Sudan has been witnessing deadly fighting between the country's army and a paramilitary group for the last 12 days that has reportedly left around 400 people dead. India stepped up its efforts to evacuate the Indians from Sudan after a 72-hour truce was agreed between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces following intense negotiations.
India has set up a transit facility in Jeddah and Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan is overseeing the evacuation mission from the Saudi Arabian city. The first batch of 278 Indians was evacuated from Port Sudan by the Indian Navy's frontline ship INS Sumedha on Tuesday. Jaishankar is on a nine-day trip to Guyana, Panama, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic, his first visit as the external affairs minister to these Latin American countries and the Caribbean.