Indonesia Evacuates 897 People from Sudan’s Khartoum
Jakarta. The Foreign Affairs Ministry announced on Wednesday evening that 897 Indonesian citizens had fled the conflict-ridden Khartoum, Sudan, after two rounds of evacuation.
Initial government reports revealed that there were 1,209 Indonesians living in Sudan. But after a “data update”, the number of recorded and reachable Indonesian citizens in Sudan totaled 937 people.
“We have evacuated 897 people so far, 557 of whom have arrived in Jeddah. We have 15 Indonesian citizens who had left [Sudan] on their own,” Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a recorded video statement.
As many as 25 Indonesians refused to be evacuated due to family reasons.
“The others are already no longer in Sudan. These people either have returned to Indonesia, are visiting their hometowns [to celebrate Eid], or are performing umrah in Saudi Arabia,” Retno said.
The first round of evacuation had 569 evacuees. Some 557 of the said people arrived at Jeddah Port on Wednesday at 10 a.m. Jakarta time. The remaining 12 people, ten of whom are members of the embassy’s team, stayed in Port Sudan to assist in the second evacuation round. The two other Indonesian nationals were still working on their travel documents, Retno told reporters.
The second round had 328 Indonesian evacuees who were mostly students. There were Indonesian migrant workers and their families, as well as airline professionals. The second phase had 7 foreigners, namely 6 Australians and 1 Sudanese.
The Indonesian government took the second-phase evacuees on seven buses from Khartoum to Port Sudan. These buses would pass through Atbara and the port city Sawakin along the way. The second-round evacuees arrived in Port Sudan on Wednesday at 9.30 a.m. Jakarta time. However, one of the buses got into an accident near Atbara due to severely damaged roads and a fatigued driver.
“The accident left three Indonesians injured,” Retno said while adding that the victims are currently hospitalized in Port Sudan.
The government is planning to send the citizens back to Indonesia in rounds once they arrive in Jeddah.