A bus carrying around 50 Filipinos caught in the clashes in Sudan has left the Sudanese capital Khartoum for the northern border with Egypt, a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Tuesday.
“As of 8 p.m. Manila time yesterday, the first batch (of around 50 Filipinos) left Khartoum by land,” spokeswoman Teresita Daza said.
From the border, Daza said the Filipinos will be taken to Aswan City and then to the Egyptian capital Cairo.
Foreign Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega told a radio interview on Tuesday that the Philippine Embassy in Cairo will provide accommodation and plane tickets to the Filipinos.
De Vega said there are about 700 Filipinos in Sudan as of the last count. However, he said only around 300 Filipinos have signified their intention to leave Sudan.
He confirmed that the bus has left Khartoum and was on the way to the border. “The travel from Khartoum to the border takes around 20 hours. It’s about 1,000 km,” De Vega said.
Aside from the first batch of 50 Philippine evacuees, De Vega said at least 20 Filipinos have been extracted from Sudan by their employers, adding that the Philippines’ priority is to get the Filipinos out of Sudan when a ceasefire is in place and bring them back home.
Violent clashes erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces on April 15 in Khartoum and other places.
Sudan’s health ministry said the deadly clashes have left more than 400 people dead and almost 4,000 wounded.
CURRENTPH NEWS SERVICE