DHAKA: Bangladesh is grateful to Saudi Arabia for assisting in the evacuation of its nationals from Sudan, officials said on Monday as the first set of refugees arrived in Dhaka.
Foreign countries have been evacuating their nationals from Sudan after violent violence erupted between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces, killing over 500 people and injuring over 4,000 more.
Though mass evacuation attempts began on April 24, when the warring sides announced a cease-fire, more than 100 Bangladeshis were evacuated from Sudan only on Sunday, as the South Asian nation launched rescue operations considerably later.
The 135-person group was flown to Jeddah by Saudi air force jets from Port Sudan. They then travelled to Bangladesh on Biman Bangladesh Airlines, landing in Dhaka on Monday.
“My heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on behalf of myself, our embassy, and the people of our country,” Mohammed Javed Patwary, Bangladesh’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, told Arab News by phone.
“We have been in contact with Kingdom officials since the beginning of the clashes, and they have provided us with unwavering support.”
Saudi Arabia’s assistance in evacuation attempts has been critical for several countries.
Thousands of foreign nationals have been evacuated by boat from Sudan via the port of Jeddah.
“We are very grateful to the Saudi authorities for extending support in this evacuation process,” said Shah Mohammed Tanvir Monsur, director-general of the Consular and Welfare Wing of Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Arab News.
“The Kingdom is providing all assistance at no cost.” “The Saudis are doing everything they can to evacuate the stranded people from conflict-torn Sudan,” he claimed. “It would have been a major issue if the Kingdom’s authorities had not extended their support for evacuation at this critical time.”
Hundreds of Bangladeshis remain stranded in a tiny temporary camp in Port Sudan, awaiting evacuation, and are unsure when they will be transferred to safety.
Officials want to bring the second batch of Bangladeshi evacuees to Jeddah on Tuesday, although plans are subject to change due to the large number of requests for evacuation from other nations.
“The second batch of Bangladeshis will most likely travel to Jeddah on Tuesday.” “Nothing has been confirmed yet,” Monsur stated.