More Bangladeshis to return home from war-torn Sudan

Another 100 or so Bangladeshi nationals are set to return from war-torn Sudan early next week, as part of the government's rekindled evacuation effort, state minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam has revealed.

In the first phase, a total of 80 Bangladeshi nationals -- stuck in Sudan -- are set to take Sudan’s Badr Airlines flight to Doha on June 30 as there’s no flight available from Sudan to Jeddah right now, the state minister said in a Facebook post on Tuesday, reports UNB.

Later, they will return to Bangladesh in a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight on 1 July, he added.

The rest of the 'registered' - i.e. those engaging the government to return home - Bangladeshi nationals will be able to return home by a Biman Bangladesh flight on 2 July, the post reads.

Regarding renewed evacuation efforts, the state minister said: “When we started the rescue operation, we changed the date several times and declared it closed more than a month ago as there were no new registrations.”

“However, after closing our rescue camp, many Bangladeshis started gathering in Port Sudan as the situation in Khartoum continued to deteriorate. The number exceeded 100 in a few days. They have faced a lot of hardships as they do not have a suitable place to stay,” the state minister said. “They spend their nights on the shores of the Red Sea under the open sky. We were only able to supply floor mats and some water tanks for their use in the last few days. Some of them fell ill. We have tried to arrange medical assistance.”

Shahriar Alam said the ministry later gave permission to renew evacuation efforts on the request of the consulate.

The state minister said a total 104 people have registered to return home after the reopening of evacuation efforts.

“We have announced 27 June as the last date for registration. We expect more than 150 Bangladeshis to register,” he said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in May said a total of 1,500 Bangladeshi nationals were living in Sudan, of whom around 680 registered to come back in earlier evacuation rounds the government participated in with its international partners.

They were brought back to the country in phases after being taken out from Sudan to Saudi Arabia, the government's most important partner in the process.