Thu, Aug 24, 2017 | updated 03:53 PM IST

Sankat Mochan: Rescue team lands in Juba, Swaraj calls on Indians to move out immediately

Updated: Jul 14, 2016 15:03 IST      
Sankat Mochan: Rescue team lands in Juba, Swaraj calls on Indians to move out immediately

Juba (South Sudan), July 14 (ANI): With the 'Sankat Mochan'rescue team landing here in Juba, External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Thursday called on all the stranded Indian nationals to move out quickly, adding that the evacuation might not be possible if the situation deteriorates.

"South Sudan - My colleague @Gen_VKSingh has landed in Juba to evacuate Indian nationals from there. All Indian nationals - We have sent two aircrafts. This is the right time. Pls move out of South Sudan," Swaraj said in a series of tweets.

Adding that in case the situation deteriorates the Indian nationals will not be evacuated, she reiterated her call to move out as quickly as possible, adding that two aircrafts are waiting to carry them out.

"Indians in South Sudan - Pls move out. We have sent two aircrafts for you. If situation worsens, we will not be able to evacuate you. Please ask all your relatives and friends in South Sudan to pl make use of this opportunity and move," she further tweeted.

Meanwhile, Operation Sankat Mochan is in full swing as the rescue team headed by Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh landed here and the process for the evacuation of the stranded Indians began.

"Check-in formalities begin for evacuation as the first C-17 expected to land in Juba soon," MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

The first IAF C17 Globemaster aircraft landed in Juba along with VK Singh, who met South Sudanese foreign affairs minister, Deng Alor Kuol.

"Indian Blue Berets posted in South Sudan as part of UNMISS lend a helping hand in evac'n effort. Close co-ord'n with local authorities. MOS @Gen_VKSingh meets with S Sudan FM Deng Alor Kuol," Swarup added.

Sushma Swaraj thanked Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for the support towards the endeavour and also extended her best wishes to the Indian Air Force (IAF) who will be carrying out the operation.

"We are launching OP #SankatMochan to evacuate Indian nationals from South Sudan. My colleague @Gen_VKSingh is leading this operation.He will be accompanied by Secretary Amar Sinha, JS Satbir Singh and Director Anjani Kumar. Our Ambassador is South Sudan Srikumar Menon and his team is organising this operation on the ground," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in a series of tweets.

Two IAF C17's departed for South Sudan around 5 am today with VK Singh leading the operation.

The developments were set in motion after Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar appealed to Swaraj to help the Indian nationals stuck in the war-struck area.

".@SushmaSwaraj Ma'am request for speedy measures and actions to evacuate Indians stranded in Sudan. Prayers with them. #SaveIndiansInJuba," Kumar said in a tweet.

In response to this, Swaraj said, " Akshay Kumar ji - Pl do not worry. We are evacuating Indian nationals from Juba (South Sudan)."

Swaraj said the evacuation scheme is fully ready and if the situation worsens then the government will not delay and immediately evacuate Indians from there.

"The situation in South Sudan deteriorated suddenly in the past three days. We have constituted a task force to constantly study the emerging situation in South Sudan and to closely tab on the occurrences there. The task force held a meeting in the morning," Swaraj told ANI.

"There are around 600 Indians in South Sudan, of them 450 are in Juba (capital city of South Sudan) and nearly 150 are outside Juba. At present, the fighting is taking place in Juba," she added.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has ordered a ceasefire after days of intense fighting in Juba left more than 150 dead and many more injured since fighting broke out on Thursday.

The ceasefire announcement came as United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called on the Security Council to impose an "immediate arms embargo" and targeted sanctions on leaders and commanders blocking implementation of the peace deal.

There was renewed fighting between the government and former rebel forces since Thursday in Juba.

The latest exchanges were apparently sparked by a shootout between President Kiir's and Vice President Riek Machar's bodyguards. (ANI)

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], August 24 (ANI): The United States Navy 7th Fleet on Thursday said the remains found by the Royal Malaysian Navy are not those of a missing sailor from the US destroyer collision.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], August 24 (ANI): A petition 'Defend Dying Christians in Pakistan' has been launched on the American Centre for Law and Justice (ACLJ) over the atrocities on Christians in Pakistan.

Full Story >>

India, Nepal hold delegation level talks to bolster ties

Updated: Aug 24, 2017 14:00 IST     

New Delhi [India], Aug 24 (ANI): India and Nepal on Thursday held delegation-level talks at New Delhi's Hyderabad House to further enhancing the ties between the two sides.

Full Story >>

Asian-origin woman attacked on New York metro station

Updated: Aug 24, 2017 10:47 IST     

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], August 24 (ANI): An Asian-origin woman received a head injury after she was pushed by a stranger onto the tracks of a local underground metro station in the United States.

Full Story >>

Beijing [China], Aug 24 (ANI): Amid two-month-long border stand-off in Doklam, China on Thursday issued a fresh advisory to the Chinese citizens residing in India asking them to pay attention to personal safety and local security situation.

Full Story >>

Nepal PM Deuba asks PM Modi to 'support Nepal more'

Updated: Aug 24, 2017 10:25 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 24 (ANI): Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Thursday asked Prime Minster Narendra Modi to "support Nepal more" for development plans and to build more trust and understanding to expand the relations between two nations.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], August 24 (ANI): White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday said United States President Donald Trump will take a decision on former Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio "at the appropriate time."

Full Story >>

Indian-origin CEO abused for penning down anti-Trump op-ed

Updated: Aug 24, 2017 09:02 IST     

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], August 24 (ANI): An Indian-origin Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a Chicago company has been racially abused in the United States following his column in CNBC's website last week criticising President Donald Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Full Story >>

White House to direct Pentagon on transgender ban in military

Updated: Aug 24, 2017 08:39 IST     

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], August 24 (ANI): The White House will be sending guidance to the Pentagon on the implementation of United States President Donald Trump's proposal to ban transgender people from serving in the military.

Full Story >>

US House panel to hold hearing on Navy warship collisions

Updated: Aug 24, 2017 07:56 IST     

Washington [US], Aug 24 (ANI): The United States House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the slew of deadly warship collisions which have been taking place lately, when Congress returns from the summer recess.

Full Story >>

Earthquake of 4.7 magnitude hits Gilgit

Updated: Aug 24, 2017 07:28 IST     

Gilgit [Pakistan], August 24 (ANI): An earthquake measuring 4.7 magnitudes on the Richter scale hit Gilgit and surrounding areas late Wednesday night, Geo News reported.

Full Story >>

Trump, McConnell 'remain united': White House

Updated: Aug 24, 2017 06:48 IST     

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], August 24 (ANI): The White House on Wednesday asserted that U.S. President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) "remain united" in the midst of reports that the two leaders have not spoken in weeks.

Full Story >>

Beijing [China], August 24 (ANI): Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi discussed on China-U.S. relations and the Afghanistan issue with on telephone.

Full Story >>

Saudi-led airstrike kills 48 in Yemen's capital

Updated: Aug 24, 2017 06:35 IST     

Sanaa [Yemen], August 24 (ANI): At least 48 people were killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a hotel near a Houthi-run checkpoint north of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, officials in Yemen said on Wednesday.

Full Story >>

Discount shop in east London catches fire

Updated: Aug 24, 2017 06:35 IST     

London [UK], Aug 24 (ANI): A discount shop in east London caught fire and almost 100 firefighters and officers were pressed to douse it.

Full Story >>

Washington [U.S.A.] Aug 24 (ANI): A new study has said that around 60 million Pakistani people are at risk of a variety of serious health problems including cancer due to an 'alarmingly high' level of arsenic contamination was found in groundwater beneath the Indus Plain in Pakistan.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], August 24 (ANI): Top rabbis have denied holding an annual conference call with U.S. President Donald Trump due to his response to the violence at a Charlottesville, Va., white supremacist rally.

Full Story >>

Rock gig cancelled in Rotterdam over terrorism warning

Updated: Aug 24, 2017 05:03 IST     

Rotterdam [Holland], Aug 24 (ANI): A rock concert in the Dutch city of Rotterdam has been cancelled over a terrorism warning.

Full Story >>

Phoenix Mayor says Trump continues to divide country

Updated: Aug 24, 2017 04:44 IST     

Washington [U.S.A.] Aug 24 (ANI): Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has criticised President Donald Trump by saying that the President continues to divide the country.

Full Story >>

American boy warns Trump in ISIS video

Updated: Aug 24, 2017 04:22 IST     

Baghdad [Iraq], August 24 (ANI): The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has released a new video on Wednesday featuring a 10-year-old American boy giving warning to U.S. President Donald Trump that the fighting will "end in your lands."

Full Story >>