As large number of Indians are working and migrating abroad, their security in areas where conflict has broken out assumes a concern.
In 2023, the war in Ukraine highlighted the necessity for having contingency plans for evacuation of large number of Indians mainly medical students who were studying in that country.
The successful Operation Ganga was carried out with the assistance of all governments who are in situ including that of Ukraine Russia and the central and east European countries which provided the transit facilities.
However, in the situation where there is a civil war as has been obtained in Sudan in the month of April 2023 the Sudanese Defence Forces are combating the RSF the situation is very fluid and rescuing citizens from that country is turning out to be a complex challenge.
It is not surprising that the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi himself has had a conference to review the developments and take decisions for prompt rescue of the citizens from Sudan.
India is relying on the Quartet countries of the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have a key role in Sudan to restore some order so that large number of citizens who are trapped in the country can be rescued.
As per the Prime Minister’s Secretariat Press Release, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on April 21 to review the security situation in Sudan via video-conferencing. External Affairs Minister, National Security Advisor, Ambassador of India to Sudan and numerous other senior officials were present at the briefing.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Modi assessed the most recent developments in Sudan and received a first-hand report of the conditions on the ground, with specific focus on the safety of over 3,000 Indian citizens presently located throughout the country.
The Prime Minister expressed his condolences on the passing away of an Indian national who tragically fell victim to a stray bullet last week. Prime Minister Modi instructed all relevant officials to remain vigilant, closely monitoring developments and continuously evaluating the safety of Indian nationals in Sudan and extending them all possible assistance.
The Prime Minister further directed the preparation of contingency evacuation plans, accounting for the rapidly shifting security landscape and the viability of various options.
The Prime Minister also emphasized the importance of maintaining close communication with neighboring countries in the region, as well as those with significant numbers of citizens in Sudan.
Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian embassy in Sudanese capital Khartoum are continuously monitoring the situation in the African country having a control room for the purpose.
The government has advised all Indian nationals in Sudan to stay wherever they were in view of the ‘tense’ situation in the country where a power struggle is on between the Army and paramilitary forces. India is hoping that a cease fire will be announced in the fighting between the Sudanese army and the rebel group RSF during which period evacuation of stranded Indians can be carried out.
Given large number of Indian migrants who are working abroad as well as status of instability in many parts of the world, it has become important that the ministry of external affairs should monitor developments and prepare emergency evacuation plans so that a contingency where Indians are caught in the crossfire of a civil war is avoided.
This becomes an important factor to ensure safety and cities security of citizens abroad.