Egyptian authorities have opened their border to Nigerians fleeing Sudan conflict, according to the Federal Government on Monday.
This comes after Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari intervened in the matter.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, announced this on Monday via her Twitter account.
Dabiri-Erewa tweeted: “With the intervention of President Buhari, Egypt has finally opened its border to Nigerians fleeing Sudan. With an Air Force plane already on the ground in Aswan, Egypt, the processing of the first set of evacuees will begin.”
Prior until now, Egypt has imposed restrictions on Nigerians escaping the fighting in Sudan who wanted to cross its border.
637 students from the first batch of Nigerian refugees from Sudan were left behind at the Egyptian border.
Geoffrey Onyeama, the minister of foreign affairs, had said on Sunday night that the Egyptian government insisted on screening all 637 Nigerians before allowing them admission.
According to the minister, if Egypt waited any longer, the Federal Government might send the students to Port Sudan for evacuation.
Meanwhile, some of the stranded Nigerians at the Egyptian border shared their ordeal with newsmen.
A student, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “It has not been easy here. Most of the drivers that brought us here have left. We sleep inside the bus sometimes which does not have good windows and the cold is extreme. We have not taken our bath for some days because we cannot afford to pay for it every day. We hope to go home soonest.”
Another student, who identified herself as Amina, lamented that “Ever since we came from Khartoum to this place, we have been suffering. The drivers picked us all from Khartoum without being paid. They later stopped somewhere in the desert and collected our passports as collateral.
“Since we got here, no water, money or food. We sleep under the bus or in the Sahara. My voice is down right now. Some of us here are sick. It is not easy here. Our money is gone because food is actually expensive here. We pay money for eventually everything that we want to do here. For instance, if we want to urinate, we pay 1,000 Sudanese currency. These people at the border harass the females here. It is very terrible.”
Another student, Abdulsalam Maikano, said “Five days at the border, no food and no water. We even saw in the news that they are giving us food. Many people are sick. On my bus, there is a baby that cries every night because of the cold.”
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