Over 150 Filipino evacuees from Sudan set to return home
MANILA, Philippines — More than 150 Filipino evacuees from war-stricken Sudan will return to the Philippines on Thursday, May 4.
The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said two groups with 80 and 72 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will fly out to Manila via Saudia Airlines commercial flights from Jeddah and Riyadh on Wednesday, May 3.
They are expected to arrive in Manila the next day.
The returnees are part of the 340 OFWs the Philippine government earlier assisted in crossing over from the Sudan Port into the Argeen Land Port Authority in Aswan, Egypt.
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Administrator Arnell Ignacio will join one of the groups on their flight back to the Philippines.
“For this week, we will have 152 arriving on May 4 from Egypt and another bigger batch of OFWs from Sudan coming home hopefully via a chartered Philippine Airlines flight,” DMW chief Susan Ople said in a statement.
DMW said it is “negotiating” with Philippine Airlines for a chartered flight to bring home the remaining 188 OFWs from the 340-group and another 104 OFWs that are expected to be repatriated after they are cleared in the Egyptian border this week.
33 Filipinos back home
Meanwhile, 33 Filipino students from the conflict-torn African country set foot in Manila on Tuesday night, May 2, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
They were welcomed by DFA Undersecretary Antonio Morales and Kabayan Rep. Ron Salo at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
DFA Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega said all repatriated Filipinos will be provided with financial and logistical assistance.
“We will bring them to a hotel, paid for, before they are flown to Mindanao, also paid for. DFA [is going] to provide financial assistance,” he told INQUIRER.net in a message.
Aside from the Filipinos to be repatriated through the flights being arranged by DMW, de Vega said DFA is also trying to bring home more than a hundred Filipinos “in trickles” this week.
The United Nations said more than 512 people could have been killed and at least 4,200 others wounded from the raging clashes between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces that erupted on April 15 due to a power struggle.