FO says 37 Pakistanis evacuated from Sudan reach Jeddah

ISLAMABAD– A ship carrying 37 Pakistani nationals from war-torn Sudan has reached Saudi Arabian port city Jeddah on Wednesday, the Foreign Office (FO) said.

“Evacuation plan for Pakistani nationals in Sudan continues. The ship carrying 37 Pakistani nationals from Port Sudan arrives in Jeddah,” it said in a tweet.

“They were received by CG in Jeddah, Khalid Majid on arrival at Jeddah Port. We are grateful to the Government of KSA for its support & hospitality,” the FO added.

According to the Saudi Arabia Foreign Ministry, the boat carrying 1,687 civilians from more than 50 countries arrived in the kingdom today, which is the largest rescue effort by the Gulf state to date.

The group was “transported by one of the Kingdom’s ships, and the Kingdom was keen to provide all the basic needs of foreign nationals in preparation for their departure,” it said in a statement.

Fighting broke out in Sudan on April 15 between forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy-turned-rival Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

At least 459 people had been killed and more than 4,000 as of Tuesday across Africa’s third-biggest country, according to UN agencies.

Saudi Arabia has received several rounds of evacuees by air and sea, starting with boats that arrived in Jeddah on Saturday carrying 150 people including foreign diplomats and officials.

On Monday, a C-130 Hercules military plane flew dozens of South Korean civilians to Jeddah’s King Abdullah Air Base, and a boat ferried nearly 200 people from 14 countries across the Red Sea from Port Sudan.

Thirteen of the civilians who arrived on Wednesday were Saudi, while the rest came from countries across the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia and North and Central America, the foreign ministry statement said.

All told, 2,148 people have been evacuated to the kingdom from Sudan so far, including more than 2,000 foreigners, the statement added.

A day earlier, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had said that more than 200 Pakistanis were evacuated to safety in chaos-torn Sudan, bringing the total number of rescued nationals to 700.

“In keeping with the commitment of the Government of Pakistan to the welfare of overseas Pakistanis, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to lead in the relief and rescue of Pakistanis in Sudan. Today, another convoy carrying 211 Pakistanis dispatched from Khartoum has arrived in Port Sudan,” the minister said in a statement.