Government today said it was closely monitoring the political developments as well as the evolving situation in strife-torn South Sudan where the Indian mission was taking all steps to facilitate relocation of the Indian citizens.
Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin said the Mission in Juba has already issued an advisory to the Indian nationals to leave South Sudan at the earliest. "We are closely monitoring the political developments and the evolving security situation in South Sudan. The Indian Embassy in Juba is in close contact with the Indian community members in South Sudan for ensuring their safety and security," he said.
The official said a significant number of Indians have already left South Sudan by commercial flights operating from Juba and also through the road links, including the link to the Ugandan border. "Our Mission in Juba is providing all assistance in facilitating relocation of Indian nationals. The Mission is closely liaising with the UN Mission in South Sudan(UNMISS), particularly the Indian Battalion of UNMISS, in monitoring the evolving security situation and has availed their assistance in evacuating Indian nationals stranded in remote areas such as Bor (Jonglei State)," Akbaruddin said.
Two members of the Indian contingent in UNMISS had lost their lives and one member was injured during an attack on UNMISS compound at Akobo in Jonglei State of South Sudan on December 13. "The role played by the Indian Battalion of UNMISS under difficult circumstances in South Sudan has been widely appreciated," the official said. He said MEA was in touch with the South Sudan Embassy here which has assured all assistance of its government in ensuring safety and security of Indian nationals and Indian Embassy in South Sudan.
India has evacuated all its oil employees from South Sudan and shut down oilfields amid the violence. All 11 executives working on 40,000 barrels per day Greater Nile Oil Project and Block 5A were airlifted.
ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), had deputed 11 employees at Greater Nile Oil Project and Block 5A in Sudan.