On Friday, 156 Indians reached India, lead by Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh. ‘Operation Sankat Mochan’ was conducted by the government to evacuate Indians from the violence-hit area of South Sudan. Around 300 Indians refused to return as a ceasefire was announced in the capital city of the African country. People were evacuated in two C-17 Globemaster 3 aircrafts of the Indian Air Force, one of which landed in Delhi carrying 71 Indians. The other flight landed in Thiruvananthapuram carrying 85 Indians.
Anil Kumar, Rescued from Sudan said, “For almost five days there was heavy firing and it was then that we decided to return. Yesterday it was a quiet day, that made our movement to the airport easy.”
“Over 300 Indians will continue to stay in South Sudan for their business interests. About 150 Indians work in the oil wells, and for them it’s easier to go towards Sudan where there are not much issues. While I was there, I spoke to the Vice President of South Sudan and he told me what they are doing with regard to the safety of the people there.” said General VK Singh.
The entire operation had been conducted under the direct supervision of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who formed a high level task force to monitor the situation in South Sudan, which has deteriorated in the last few days. ‘In our assessment this was an opportune time to arrange for the evacuation, especially since the ceasefire is holding and there is a lull in hostilities. Operation Sankat Mochan has underscored once again, the government’s pro-active approach towards helping Indians in distress anywhere in the world,’ he added.
Former Army chief Gen. VK Singh had flown to Juba on Thursday aboard an Indian Air Force aircraft C17. Two C17s were sent for the operation.
“We have sent two aircraft. This is the right time. Please move out of South Sudan. If situation deteriorates, we will not be able to evacuate you. Please ask all your relatives and friends in South Sudan to please make use of this opportunity and move out,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.
“The evacuation has been meticulously planned in coordination with the local authorities as well as the support of the Indian peace keeping contingent in UNMISS,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup told reporters on Thursday, according to NDTV. “This entire operation has been under the direct supervision of Sushma Swaraj who had formed a high-level task force to monitor the situation in South Sudan,” Swarup said.
Operation Sankatmochan successfully airlifted 156 Indian from South Sudan to India