Kaveri, India's rescue operation for its nationals in conflict-torn Sudan, has evacuated more than 500 people in three batches by using the Air Force and Navy.
The operation started Monday, stationing two Air Force transport planes in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah and naval ship 'INS Sumedha' in Port Sudan.
"Third batch comprising 135 Indians from Port Sudan arrived in Jeddah by IAF C-130J aircraft. Onward journey to India for all who arrived in Jeddah will commence shortly," said V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs, on Wednesday on Twitter.
Tracking Operation Kaveri
Over 3,000 Indians are reported to be stranded in Sudan’s capital Khartoum and in Darfur district, according to reports.
“Operation Kaveri gets under way to bring back our citizens stranded in Sudan. About 500 Indians have reached Port Sudan. More on their way. Our ships and aircraft are set to bring them back home. Committed to assist all our brethren in Sudan,” S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, tweeted on Monday.
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The choice of naming the rescue mission "Operation Kaveri" is significant. The Kaveri river runs through Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and it is worshipped as the Goddess Kaveriamma (Mother Kaveri).
"Rivers reach their destination irrespective of barriers. It's like a mother who will ensure she will bring her children back to safety," a top government source was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Earlier this year, India sent rescue and relief material to an earthquake-hit Turkey and Syria under 'Operation Dost'. Indian rescue professionals flew down to both nations and carried out their operations for nearly 10 days.
In 2022, 'Operation Ganga' aimed to evacuate around 20,000 Indians, including students, stuck in Ukraine after Russia’s invasion of the country.
When Covid-19 hit the world, the government launched the Vande Bharat Mission to bring back Indian citizens stranded in foreign countries. In multiple phases of the operation, about 60 lakh Indians were brought back as on April 30, 2021.
Under 'Operation Dev Shakti', India evacuated its citizens from Afghanistan when it fell to the Taliban on August 15, 2021.
What is happening in Sudan?
The political unrest in Sudan escalated on April 15 into a nationwide conflict when tensions between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) over Security Sector Reform (SSR) led to a shootout between their commanders.
Days of fighting between the two armed forces have resulted in a humanitarian crisis that has killed over 400 people and left millions of foreigners and Sudanese without access to necessities.