Operation Sankat Mochan is successfully underway in South Sudan to evacuate Indians in view of tensions there. The aim of this operation is to evacuate all 300 Indian nationals who have expressed their interest in leaving. Some of them have set up businesses in Juba and others are working for various companies. A small number of Indian nationals also work in Christian missionary organisations in that country. Minister of state for external affairs VK Singh is leading this mission, namely “Sankat Mochan”, to evacuate Indians from South Sudan, which has been rocked by violence that has claimed hundreds of lives. Operation Sankat Mochan was the first big evacuation effort in a year after Operation Rahat evacuated hundreds of citizens of India and other countries in July 2015. Operation Rahat was also led by V.K. Singh who took the responsibility of steering Operation Sankat Mochan on the ground.
Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj held a meeting with senior MEA officials yesterday and a decision was taken to re-assess the evacuation plan in the next 36 hours, as the government was hopeful of the situation improving in Juba post the ceasefire.
The operation has been very successful and the initiative taken by the Minister for External Affairs and the Minister of State for External Affairs has been very fruitful and productive.
Why Operation Sankat Mochan?
- Civil war was waging in South Sundan due to clashes between anti and pro government forces. Indians were advised not to travel to the war-torn country. This country is still witnessing heavy fighting between former rebels and government soldiers in several parts of the city.
- The security situation in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, had deteriorated since July 7, 2016. There were news of gun fire and fighting on the streets of Juba making any movement virtually impossible for the local citizens including Indians.