The first Indian Air Force flight carrying 154 Indians and two Nepalis, who were evacuated from conflict-ridden South Sudan, arrived in India on Friday. The C-17 Globemasters carrier first landed in Thiruvananthapuram, where 35 people from Kerala and 32 from Tamil Nadu got down, before leaving for Delhi, reported PTI.
Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh, who led the government's Operation Sankat Mochan, escorted the evacuees that also included nine women and three children. He said there were around 550 Indians in South Sudan, of which 154 were flown back to India in the first flight. Around 30 to 40 people have already booked tickets for their return by commercial flights. The remaining 300 are not willing to return now because of their work in South Sudan, reported Indian Express.
South Sudan has been on the brink of civil war since July 6. Hundreds of people have died so far in fighting between groups loyal to President Salva Kiir and others supporting Vice President Riek Machar, despite a deal signed between the two factions in August 2015. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called on the Security Council to impose an arms embargo after which ceasefire was announced.