Op Sankat Mochan: Indians rescued from South Sudan to reach Delhi today


External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said the two flights sent to evacuate Indians from South Sudan, where a fragile ceasefire holds amid civil war, had cleared the conflict zone late on Thursday.

In a series of tweets on the micro-blogging site, the minister gave updates on Sankat Mochan — the evacuation operation — stating both flights had left Kampala and would reach Delhi at around 10 am on Friday. The flights will, however, first reach Thiruvananthapuram at around 5 am.

“Indian railways and Air India will facilitate their onward journey,” the minister added on Twitter.

The foreign ministry earlier announced that more than 140 Indians had been airlifted from South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation where more than 150 people were killed in the last week amid fighting between rival political factions.

Minister of state for external affairs, VK Singh, flew to South Sudan early on Thursday morning with an Indian Air Force contingent in two C-17 Globemasters to ferry Indians to safety.

Clashes broke out in South Sudan last week between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and vice-president Riek Machar after reports on social media suggested that Machar had been detained at the presidential palace. Several days of fighting passed before Kiir called a ceasefire on Monday and asked his troops to respect the truce.

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