Vietnamese Embassy Rescues Expat in Sudan
|The conflict in Sudan escalated, causing foreign citizens, including P.V.K., a Vietnamese citizen, to expect to be evacuated. Photo: Reuters|
On April 15, when the military conflict broke out in Sudan, citizen P.V.K., born in 1957, native of Tien Giang, with dual citizenship of Vietnam and Australia, was doing business here. K said he lost both his Vietnamese and Australian passports. He expressed his wish to be evacuated with the Vietnamese Embassy in Egypt, concurrently with Sudan.
In the early days of the war, the capital, Khartoum, with about 8 million people, lost electricity, water on a large scale, the phone signal and Internet were intermittent.
Airlines announced the suspension of flights, neighboring countries decided to close the border with Sudan. Shortages of food, electricity, water, medical supplies and fuel became extremely severe, especially in the capital and its environs. Prices of essential goods and basic services constantly increased.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also issued a warning of "high biological risk" after combatants seized a laboratory containing samples of polio, cholera and measles.
In that context, the Embassy kept in touch to understand the situation and encourage K, reported to relevant authorities and at the same time carried out identity verification procedures to re-issue his passport.
The embassy also held an emergency meeting with the embassies of ASEAN countries in Cairo to discuss possible options to bring the citizens out the war zone.
The chosen option was to follow the road to Egypt in the north with a journey of about 1,000 km or at least reach the coastal city of Port Sudan, located about 800 km east of the capital Khartoum, which is a gathering point used by many countries to repatriate citizens. At that time, it was still safe.
The Embassy also discussed with the Australian Embassy in Egypt the situation of K.
Australia insisted that they had information about this case and also put him on the list of in need of assistance. However, they had no financial support policy for evacuated citizens.
The fighting in the capital Khartoum gradually spread to other states, the number of casualties increased. Sudan lies at the gateway to the Sahel region, where insecurity and political instability are making the humanitarian situation worse.
|Dual Vietnamese-Australian P.V.K. Photo: Vietnamese Embassy in Saudi Arabia|
Finding solutions to safely and successfully evacuate citizens
As soon as the Embassy heard that Saudi Arabia assisted citizens of other countries in evacuating by ferry across the sea from Port Sudan city to the Saudi port city of Jeddah, they raised the case of K and was approved.
Saudi Arabia asked K to find a way to their temporary office in Port Sudan for assistance getting out of Sudan. However, when K and a group of Filipino citizens reached Port Sudan, Saudi Arabia announced to stop the ferry evacuation.
The situation became increasingly urgent as more foreigners flock to Port Sudan. K remained undocumented, living every day in a mosque. The Embassy contacted different places to find other solutions.
Fortunately, not long after, when a private Sudanese airline, with a representative office in Cairo, re-operated the Port Sudan-Jeddah route, the Embassy contacted and reserved a seat for K on the earliest flight leaving Port Sudan.
With dedication, close coordination, and the highest responsibility for citizen protection, the Embassy coordinated with K's family, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Vietnamese Embassy in Saudi Arabia to issue the passport according to the simplified procedures, buy air tickets from Port Sudan to Jeddah and then from Jeddah to Vietnam for K.
Thanks to that, K returned to Ho Chi Minh City safely. He thanked the Vietnamese authorities for successfully protecting citizens.
The story once again shows that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vietnam's representative missions abroad show a high sense of responsibility to protect Vietnamese citizens in distress.
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