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What Is Operation Kaveri? First Batch Of Indians Leave Conflict-Hit Sudan

India launched 'Operation Kaveri' to bring back its nationals from Sudan which has been witnessing fierce fighting following a power struggle between the regular army and a paramilitary force. 

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Indian citizens stranded in Sudan arrive at Port Sudan for their evacuation from the country.
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As many as 278 Indians, who were stranded in conflict-Sudan, left the country onboard India's naval ship INS Sumedha as part of the evacuation mission 'Operation Kaveri', confirmed External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi. The ship departed Port Sudan for the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah.

"First batch of stranded Indians leave Sudan under #OperationKaveri. INS Sumedha with 278 people onboard departs Port Sudan for Jeddah," Bagchi tweeted.

Fighting in Sudan between forces loyal to two top generals has put that nation at risk of collapse and could have consequences far beyond its borders.

Both sides have tens of thousands of fighters, foreign backers, mineral riches and other resources that could insulate them from sanctions. It’s a recipe for the kind of prolonged conflict that has devastated other countries in the Middle East and Africa, from Lebanon and Syria to Libya and Ethiopia.

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Meanwhile, India on Monday launched 'Operation Kaveri' to bring back its nationals from Sudan which has been witnessing fierce fighting following a power struggle between the regular army and a paramilitary force. 

Operation Kaveri and how Indians are being evacuated

On Sunday, India said it has positioned two transport aircraft of the IAF in Jeddah and naval ship INS Sumedha at Port Sudan as part of its contingency plans to evacuate the stranded Indians.

The government had on Friday said it was focusing on the safety of over 3,000 Indian citizens currently located throughout Sudan. 

While addressing the Yuvam Conclave in Kochi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Due to the civil war in Sudan, many of our people are stuck there. Therefore, we have started Operation Kaveri to bring them safely. It is being overseen by the son of Kerala and the Minister of our government, Muraleedharan". 

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Why has it been named Operation Kaveri?

The name ‘Operation Kaveri’ has a similarity with the name Operation Ganga, which was launched during the evacuation of Indians in the war-hit Ukraine. 

The Kaveri is one of the major Indian rivers flowing through the southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The river is sacred to the people of the region and is worshipped as the Goddess Kaveriamma (mother Kaveri).

According to a report in ANI, a government official said, “Rivers reach their destination irrespective of barriers. It's like a mother who will ensure she will bring her children back to safety.”

How is the evacuation process being carried out?

On Monday, 500 Indians gather in Port Sudan. On Sunday, two C-130J aircraft of IAF were on standby in Jeddah and INS Sumedha reached Port Sudan

Government officials indicated that India was in consultation with the US, UK, Saudi Arabia and UAE to ensure the safety of its nationals.


Jaishankar also spoke with his counterparts in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt to discuss the situation in Sudan. During a brief visit to New York en route to Latin America, Jaishankar discussed developments in Sudan with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

An Indian citizen was killed by a stray bullet as a result of the fighting, according to India’s Embassy in Sudan.
The Indian evacuation of its nationals come at a time when a number of countries, such as the United States, United Kingdom, and France, are evacuated their officials and civilians from Sudan where attempts to bring the two warring side to a halt have so far not been very fruitful. 

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What is happening in Sudan?

Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, head of the armed forces, and Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the leader of a paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces that grew out of Darfur’s notorious Janjaweed militias, are each seeking to seize control of Sudan. It comes two years after they jointly carried out a military coup and derailed a transition to democracy that had begun after protesters in 2019 helped force the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir. In recent months, negotiations were underway for a return to the democratic transition.

The victor of the latest fighting is likely to be Sudan’s next president, with the loser facing exile, arrest or death. A long-running civil war or partition of the Arab and African country into rival fiefdoms are also possible.

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In the past 11 days, Sudanese have faced a harrowing search for safety in the constantly shifting battle of explosions, gunfire and armed fighters looting shops and homes. Many have been huddling in their homes for days. Food and fuel are leaping in price and harder to find, electricity and internet are cut off in much of the country, and hospitals are near collapse.

(with agency inputs)
 

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