PUTRAJAYA, April 27 — The 30 Malaysians who were rescued from the conflict-torn Khartoum, in Sudan, are scheduled to return home tomorrow (April 28), said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.
They consist of Wisma Putra officials, Petronas workers and students, he told a press conference here today.
He said they were among the 194 people of various nationalities, who arrived at the King Faisal Naval Base, in Jeddah, at 1.54am Malaysian time today after traveling for about nine hours from the Port of Sudan onboard the Saudi Arabian naval ship HMS Abha.
“Along with the Malaysians on the ship (HMS Abha) are 22 citizens of other countries, namely 14 Singaporeans, six Cambodians and two Americans, that we helped to rescue,” he said.
Zambry said the 30 Malaysians will board Saudi Arabian Airlines flight SV834 from Jeddah and scheduled to arrive at the Bunga Raya Complex, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at about 3.55pm tomorrow.
More than 400 people were reported to have been killed and more than 3,500 others were injured as a result of the armed conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) that broke out on April 15. I
A total of 32 Malaysians were reported to be at seven different places in Sudan and on April 21, two of them were transferred to a safe place.
The two Malaysians are individuals serving with the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) in Abyei and their evacuation process will be carried out by the United Nations (UN).
Last April 25, it was reported that the 30 Malaysians who were stranded in Khartoum arrived at the Port of Sudan. They arrived at 2.07pm Monday Sudan time (8.07pm Malaysia time) after a 30-hour journey covering a distance of 1,233 km.
Zambry expressed the Malaysian government’s appreciation to the governments of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and agencies such as the National Security Council (NSC), the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), the Prime Minister’s Department and the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) for their assistance.
He also conveyed the government’s gratitude to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah over His Majesty’s concern for the safety of Malaysians in Sudan.
“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also kept abreast with developments on the rescue efforts and contacted several parties in Sudan and other places in our efforts to rescue Malaysians in the conflict-torn Khartoum,” he said.
When asked about the status of the Malaysian Embassy in Sudan, Zambry said it was not closed, but its operation had been suspended temporarily.
“Until the situation in Sudan recovers and is safe, all matters related to the country will be administratively supervised by the Malaysian Embassy in Cairo (Egypt),” he said.
According to Zambry, the Petronas complex in Sudan has been forcefully taken over by the paramilitary forces there.