DFA aims to bring home 100 more Filipinos from war-torn Sudan this week
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is eyeing to bring home to the Philippines this week at least a hundred more Filipinos from strife-torn Sudan.
DFA Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega on Monday said they hope to repatriate more Filipinos to join the first batch of 17 government-assisted evacuees who arrived in Manila on Saturday.
“We hope for up to 100 people aboard commercial flights in the next few days…It will depend on the availability of commercial tickets,” he told INQUIRER.net in a message.
De Vega noted that the Department of Migrant Workers is also trying to charter a plane to repatriate Filipino evacuees from Sudan.
“But until then, we are repatriating them in trickles, because we can imagine how they want out as soon as possible,” he said.
De Vega said at least 610 Filipinos have left besieged Khartoum amid violent clashes that erupted between the Sudanese military and paramilitary forces on April 15 due to a power struggle.
“There are still 104 Filipinos being processed at the border in Argeen, 28 at the border in Goustal, and about 20 in Port Sudan,” he added.
Meanwhile, de Vega pointed out that the DFA is riddled with the challenge of convincing about 100 to 150 Filipinos in Sudan to come home.
He cited the reasons given by Filipinos who have yet to express intention to leave the conflict-hit African country, which include increased salaries, employers’ promise of protection, and false impressions of the security situation in Sudan as reported by the media.
“DFA tells them that we cannot guarantee their safety and safe repatriation next time there are major hostilities,” de Vega said.
Sudan’s warring factions have agreed to extend its original 72-hour ceasefire that began Tuesday last week, but there had been reports of unrelenting violence in the country even with truce in place.
According to the United Nations, at least 512 people have been killed and around 4,200 others wounded from the raging skirmishes in Sudan.