International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, has welcomed back home the remaining group of South Africans who were evacuated from conflict-stricken Sudan.
Speaking at OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday, the Minister expressed delight at the return of the citizens.
“We thought that it is important that the people of South Africa see that all the nationals of South Africa that had indicated that they wish to return home are back home. We just want South Africa to be assured because all of us have been waiting for you to come back. We’re absolutely happy that able to return home safely,” said the Minister.
This as South African citizens were stranded in Sudan after the unrest began two weeks ago. The South African government worked closely with neighbouring countries as well as South African NGO, Gift of the Givers to ensure the safe return of citizens.
A total 53 individuals arrived on a flight back to South Africa earlier today.
Yesterday, 10 South Africans returned home.
She said a lot of organisation went into bringing home the country’s citizens.
“We had a joint committee that worked on evacuations,” she said of the committee made up of various government departments
A total 51 South Africans returned home from Sudan on Sunday. In addition to the 51 citizens, a Lesotho national and a Zimbabwean national were on board the flight bringing the number of those evacuated from Sudan to 53.
“We are really happy that you’re back home,” said the Minister who was flanked by fellow Cabinet Ministers. The Minister was accompanied by Home Affairs Minister, Dr, Aaron Motsoaledi and Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Thandi Modise.
However, the Minister said that she is concerned about the people of Sudan amid the ongoing conflict.
“We as government hope that we can play some role in bringing peace back to Sudan, because I don't think we should dessert the people of Sudan. It is in South Africa's policy that we must try wherever we can on our continent to silence the guns.
“We are unhappy when we see people suffering and so we will try to make every effort to really engage with the current conflict party in Sudan to persuade them to lay down arms to persuade them to work for peace,” she said. –SAnews.gov.za
Source: South African Government News Agency