India coordinating with various countries for safety of Indians in Sudan

New Delhi: India is coordinating closely with various countries, including the US, the UK and Saudi Arabia, to ensure the safety and security of Indian nationals in violence-hit Sudan, government sources said on Wednesday.

They said the ground situation in Sudan is “very tense” and movement of people is “very risky” at this stage.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has already spoken to his counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the situation in Sudan and they assured him practical support on the ground for the safety of the Indians in that country.

Sudan has been witnessing deadly fighting between the country’s army and a paramilitary group for the last six days that has reportedly left around 200 people dead.

India has been focusing on ensuring the safety of the Indians residing in Sudan.

The sources said India’s priority has been the safety of movement and well being of Indians wherever they are located and that both the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Indian embassy in Khartoum are continuously monitoring the situation. At the same time they said “concerns of safety and security constrain us from putting out specific details.” “India is coordinating closely with various countries to ensure the safety and security of Indian nationals in Sudan. The Quartet countries of the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have a key role and we are engaging them accordingly,” said a source.

India is also working with the UN, which has a substantial presence in Sudan, the sources said.

They said the Indian ambassador in Washington and the High Commissioner in London are in touch with their respective host governments on the situation in Sudan.

In New Delhi, the MEA has already set up a control room to provide information and assistance in view of the current situation in Sudan.

“We are in continuous touch with our embassy in Khartoum and are getting regular reports of the status of the Indian community. The embassy, in turn, is in touch with the community and individuals through multiple methods, including WhatsApp groups, the source cited above said.

On Monday, the Indian embassy in  Sudan issued a fresh advisory urging Indians not to venture out of their residences and stay calm.

The embassy, on Sunday, said an Indian national died in Khartoum after sustaining bullet injuries.

Sudan’s military captured power in a coup in October 2021 and it has been running the country through a sovereign council since then.

There has been a dispute between the Army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) over a proposed timeline for handing over power to a civilian government.

The fighting erupted between the forces loyal to two rival generals as both are aiming to wrest control over the country.