Another 97 Pakistanis return after evacuation from Sudan

Islamabad: Another group of 97 Pakistani nationals evacuated from Sudan arrived in Karachi on Saturday as the exodus continued from the war-torn country, which the UN chief said was “falling apart”.

This took the total number of evacuated Pakistanis to 357, as 260 landed in Karachi a day ago,

The group was flown from Jeddah to Jinnah International Airport via a Pakistan Air Force C-130 aircraft.

The Foreign Office spokesperson said the Government of Pakistan would continue to facilitate the safe return of stranded Pakistanis.

According to a PAF press release, as directed by Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Babar Sidhu, PAF transport aircraft successfully carried out the evacuation mission “with utmost professionalism and determination” to bring their Pakistani brothers and sisters to safety immediately. carry through.

‘Sudan is falling apart’

As the war continued to ravage the country, UN chief Antonio Guterres threw his support behind mediation efforts.

“I appeal that every effort be made to support the African-led initiative for peace in Sudan,” he added. al ArabiyaA Riyadh based news channel.

“There is no right to fight for power when the country is falling apart.”

Meanwhile, bomber warplanes pounded Khartoum on Saturday with heavy anti-aircraft fire as fierce fighting entered a third week between Sudan’s army and paramilitaries that have violated a fresh ceasefire.

More than 500 people have been killed since fighting broke out on April 15 between army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his number two, Mohammed Hamdan Dagallo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Force (RSF).

Thousands of people have been displaced within Sudan or have embarked on difficult journeys to neighboring Chad, Egypt, South Sudan and Ethiopia to escape the fighting.

The latest three-day ceasefire – due to expire at midnight on Sunday – was agreed on Thursday after mediation led by the US, Saudi Arabia, the African Union and the United Nations.

mass exodus

The fighting has also triggered a mass exodus of Sudanese, foreigners and international workers.

On Saturday, a ferry with about 1,900 evacuees, 65 of them Iranian, arrived from Port Sudan to a Saudi naval base in Jeddah, the latest evacuation for the kingdom by sea.

“Because of our nationality, we never thought we would come to Saudi Arabia when we were evacuated,” said Merhdad Malekzadh, a 28-year-old Iranian who has been living in Khartoum since childhood.

Published in Dawn, April 30, 2023

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