The first set of 156 Indian nationals evacuated from the war-torn South Sudan arrived in Thiruvananthapuram International airport in the early hours of June 15 after being evacuated from the Juba, capital of African nation South Sudan, return back home in the C-17 Globemaster aircraft bringing back 156 Indians.
Minister of State for External Affairs V.K.Singh, who led the operation titled ‘Sankat Mochan’ accompanied the evacuees in the C-17 Globemaster aircraft told reporters at the airport that 156 persons have been evacuated, of whom two are from Nepal.
“When we landed, 156 came out with us. There were 30-40 people who had already booked their tickets when the commercial flights started and 300 people did not want to be evacuated due to their business concerns and other activities. There are 9 women and three children among those evacuated,” the minister said.
Ugandan prime minister Ruhakana Rugunda assured all sort of support as the IAF aircraft was flown to India via Uganda.
Many of those evacuated had been residing in the capital city from the past 12 years. They were forced to come back home leaving their businesses due to the heavy fighting between former rebels and government soldiers in several parts of the city.