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As India prepares for Sudan evacuation, a look at earlier rescue operations

The government has announced that it was working to ensure the safety of more than 3,000 Indian citizens in Sudan



BS Web Team

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In a tweet posted last evening, April 24, 2023, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar informed that to bring back Indians stranded in a troubled Sudan, operation Kaveri was underway. 

As part of Operation Kaveri, the first batch of Indians stuck in a conflict-hit Sudan have been evacuated. 278 people were onboard INS Sumedha as they left Port Sudan to reach Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

Reiterating his commitment to bring Indians to safety, he said, "Our ships and aircraft are set to bring them back home. Committed to assist all our bretheren in Sudan."

Operation Kaveri

Two transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force were positioned in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah to facilitate the safe evacuation of Indians stranded in Sudan.

The government has announced that it was working to ensure the safety of more than 3,000 Indian citizens in Sudan.

Sudan has witnessed lethal fighting between the country's army and a paramilitary group for the past 11 days, reportedly leaving more than 400 people dead.

Operation Kaveri isn't the first time the Indian government has launched an operation to rescue stranded Indians. Indian authorities have hands-on experience in dealing with similar situations. Here is a list of some key events when Indian authorities showed operational readiness and ensured the safe evacuation of stranded Indians.

Operation Ganga

Russian armed forces invaded Ukrainian territory in February 2022 as part of a "special military operation" announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Operation Ganga was carried out by the Indian government to rescue its citizens from the region. The citizens were transported from neighbouring countries of Romania, Hungary, Poland, Moldova, and Slovakia.

Operation Vande Bharat, 2020

As Covid-19 began spreading worldwide, Indian authorities moved swiftly to bring back Indians stuck in various parts of the world.

About six million Indians were brought back in multiple phases.

Operation Raahat, 2015

The situation emerged as the Saudi government decided to intervene militarily in the Yemen conflict. Thousands of Indians were stuck in war-torn Yemen, and Saudi Arabia had declared the region a no-fly zone.

The evacuation had to be planned through the sea, and it began on April 1, 2015, from the port of Aden.

More than 4,600 Indian citizens were rescued from Yemen, along with 960 foreign nationals that belonged to 41 different countries.

1990 airlift of Indians from Kuwait

As Saddam Hussein decided to invade Kuwait in August of 1990, the Indian government rushed to evacuate around 170,000 Indians caught in the middle of the conflict.

Then foreign minister I K Gujral played a key role in coordinating the evacuation. Air India, then a state-owned carrier, handled the evacuation logistics. FM Gujral made sure that Iraqi forces allowed Indians safe passage.

Initially, military aircraft were being considered for the evacuation. However, the issue of airspace clearances led to a change in this decision, and Air India was chosen for the task.

Air India entered the Guinness Book of World Records for transporting most people by a civil airliner.

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First Published: Apr 25 2023 | 4:39 PM IST

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