17 IAF flights, five sorties of Navy ships rescue 3,862 Indians from Sudan
New Delhi: India on Friday wrapped up ‘Operation Kaveri’, launched to rescue its nationals stranded in crisis-hit Sudan, with the transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force making its final flight to bring 47 passengers home.
India launched Operation Kaveri on April 24 to evacuate its nationals from Sudan, which has witnessed deadly fighting between the country’s army and a paramilitary group.
With the arrival of the Indian Air Force C130 flight on Friday, 3,862 people have been moved out of Sudan through Operation Kaveri, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said.
The Indian Air Force operated 17 flights and the Indian Navy ships carried out five sorties to move Indians from Port Sudan to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, he said.
Jaishankar said 86 Indians were evacuated through countries bordering Sudan.
“The flight from Wadi Sayyidna which was executed at great risk also deserves recognition,” he said, adding that air force and commercial flights were pressed into service to bring people home from Jeddah.
Jaishankar also expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia for hosting Indians rescued from Sudan and facilitating the evacuation process. He also appreciated the support of Chad, Egypt, France, South Sudan, the UAE, the UK, the US and the United Nations.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all Indians abroad was our inspiration,” he said.
Jaishankar also lauded Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, who was present in Saudi Arabia to oversee the rescue efforts.
Muraleedharan’s presence on the ground was a source of strength and reassurance, he said.
The Indian Embassy in Riyadh also announced closure of the transit facility created at the International Indian School in Jeddah for evacuees from Sudan.
The facility provided comfort to more than 3,500 evacuees and served as a nerve centre for planning their onward movement to India, the embassy said on Twitter.
“Applaud the spirit, perseverance and courage of all those involved in Operation Kaveri. Our embassy in Khartoum (Sudan) showed exceptional dedication in this difficult time. Efforts by Team India stationed in Saudi Arabia and MEA Rapid Response Cell coordinating in India were commendable,” Jaishankar said.