DFA hopes to begin repatriation of Filipinos in Sudan next week
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday said it hopes to start bringing home Filipinos seeking repatriation amid fatal clashes in Khartoum, Sudan by next week.
DFA Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega noted, however, that this target is not yet carved in stone.
“We hope we can start [repatriation] next week. We are targeting next week, but it will depend on the facts on the ground,” he told INQUIRER.net in a text message.
De Vega said at least 39 Sudan-based Filipinos have sought the assistance of the Philippine Embassy in Egypt for repatriation while 47 others want to be relocated from the battle-stricken areas of the North African country.
But de Vega said the figures may increase as more Filipinos reach out to the embassy.
De Vega said the repatriation strategy of the DFA would be to have the Filipinos travel by land from Sudan to Egypt before they are brought back to the Philippines.
“The plan is to use land transportation but right now, it is still being finalized as the situation, while improving, is not yet stable enough to allow for entry,” he explained.
But, de Vega stressed, the main priority at this time is to provide food and other supplies to Filipinos in Sudan while the clashes carry on.
According to the United Nations, at least 200 people have been killed and 1,800 others injured from the fierce fighting that erupted due to the power struggle of warring factions of the Sudanese military.