2 C-17 military aircraft to evacuate Indians from S Sudan

India will send two C-17 military transport aircraft to war-torn South Sudan’s capital city Juba on Thursday morrow to evacuate over 300 Indians stranded there, an exercise which will be led by Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh.In a series of tweets on evacuation, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, “We are launching Operation #SankatMochan to evacuate Indian nationals from South Sudan. My colleague @Gen_VKSingh is leading this operation.”

“He will be accompanied by Secretary Amar Sinha, JS Satbir Singh and Director Anjani Kumar. Our Ambassador in South Sudan Srikumar Menon and his team is organising this operation on the ground.”Thanks to my colleague @manoharparrikar and my best wishes to the brave Indian Air force who are carrying out OP #SankatMochan”.

“The General takes charge again! 2 C-17s proceeding to Juba tomorrow with @Gen_VKSingh leading evacuation from South Sudan,” MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted. Singh had also supervised evacuation of nearly 4,000 Indians from conflict-ridden Yemen last year.

The relief flight is expected to reach Juba tomorrow morning, an official advisory said, adding only Indian nationals with valid Indian travel document will be allowed boarding with maximum 5kg cabin baggage and no check-in pieces.It also said that women and children will be accommodated on priority.Apart from Singh, Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic Relations) will also travel to Juba.

India has been closely monitoring developments in South Sudan, which is witnessing heavy fighting between former rebels and government soldiers in several parts of the city. A task force has been set up for the purpose.According to the ministry, there are around 600 Indians in South Sudan, of them 450 are in Juba and nearly 150 are outside the capital.According to official sources, so far nearly 300 Indians have registered with the Indian embassy for evacuation. — PTI

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