According to the authorities, at least 211 Ugandans who were stranded in war-torn Sudan arrived at Entebbe Airport early on April 27 from Ethiopia’s Bahir Dar Airport.
Ambassador Joseph Ocwet, director general of the External Security Organization (ESO), met the evacuees, who included diplomats, students, and business ex-pats when they arrived in Entebbe at around two in the morning.
On April 15, the Sudanese army’s top general, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Burhan, and his former deputy and opponent, Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, alias Hemedti, initiated a power struggle.
Thousands of people have been displaced and hundreds have died since the violence began.
Following the civil conflict, 300 Ugandans were reportedly trapped in Sudan, according to the Ugandan authorities.
After President Museveni’s direct engagement, plans were formed to evacuate the trapped Ugandans, beginning with those in Khartoum, where the fighting had escalated.
According to reports, President Museveni oversaw the entire evacuation effort with assistance from the Sudanese government and the Ugandan diplomatic employees in Khartoum.
“The President showed considerable care about the welfare and safety of Ugandans. He has been seeking daily updates and making assurances about the need to ensure the safety of Ugandan citizens,” Dr Rashid Yahya Ssemuddu, Uganda’s ambassador to Sudan, stated.
President Museveni gave the necessary orders for the evacuation from the wider Khartoum battle region.
He began by requesting that ESO chief Ocwet coordinates with the embassy of Kampala in Khartoum to mobilise Ugandans and then evacuate them “safely.”
“So, Ambassador Ocwet, the director general of ESO, together with Brig Gen Frederick Karara (defence attaché), began to mobilise Ugandans in Khartoum mainly through telephone and WhatsApp groups. Good enough, the majority of Ugandans in Khartoum have leadership,” Mr. Ofwono Opondo, the government spokesperson, told journalists in Kampala on Tuesday.
According to Opondo, the working group was escorted to the embassy while all trapped Ugandans were mobilised to meet at the University of Africa in Khartoum, where the majority of the students are.
Afterward, Brig. Karara and Ambassador Ocwet organised buses to take Ugandans to the Ethiopian border in the east.
Four chartered buses carrying 208 people who had been saved left the embassy’s grounds in Khartoum’s Garden City on Sunday evening for the 761-kilometer trip to Ethiopia.
The ambassador and other officials had a lighthearted moment with some of the refugees before the 12-hour, 45-minute trip and snapped pictures with them.
But until they had safely departed Khartoum on Monday afternoon, their itinerary remained a secret.
On Tuesday morning, the buses arrived at Garabati, a border crossing between Sudan and Ethiopia.
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