Sushma assures Akshay about evacuation of Indians from South Sudan

| Updated: Jul 13, 2016 00:24 IST

New Delhi, July 12 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday assured Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar that Indians, who are presently stuck in Juba (South Sudan), would be evacuated as early as possible. The Bollywood superstar had earlier in the day asked Sushma to ensure speedy measures and actions to evacuate Indians stranded in Sudan. ".@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, the External Affairs Minister said, "Akshay Kumar ji - Pl do not worry. We are evacuating Indian nationals from Juba (South Sudan)." She also asked the Bollywood actor to ask his brothers in Juba to register with the Embassy. "WE are evacuating Indian nationals from Juba (South Sudan). Please ask your brothers to register with the Embassy.@styleprer," she said. Earlier in the day, Swaraj asserted that security of Indians in Sudan is of paramount importance, adding that New Delhi has formed a task force to take stock of situation there. 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. The External Affairs Minister, however, said as per morning reports, the situation have improved and normalcy is returning. "We are looking forward. If the situation improves, we will even then ask them if they want to return. But if the situation worsens, we will not delay and immediately evacuate them from there," she added. Swaraj had earlier in a series of tweets asked the nationals to register themselves with the Indian Embassy and not to panic. 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)