Amid intense fighting between Sudan’s army and paramilitaries that left nearly 200 dead and 1,800 wounded, at least 31 tribal people from Karnataka are stuck in the African country where the violence shows no signs of abating.
The 31 people belong to the Hakki Pikki tribe, a semi-nomadic tribal group, and do not have enough food supplies since the clashes began this weekend. The Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) said they have already intimated the Union Ministry of External Affairs and are following up with the Indian Embassy in Sudan to expedite the rescue work.
Also read: 180 dead, 1,800 wounded in Sudan as army, rival force battle for supremacy
“We have got a message that a group of 31 persons hailing from Karnataka are stranded in Sudan. We have informed MEA of this. We have asked the group to follow the instructions of the Indian embassy in Sudan. As of now stranded should stay wherever they are and not venture out. MEA is seized of the matter and is working on it,” said KSDMA Commissioner Dr Manoj Rajan.
31 Kannadigas of Hakki Pikki Tribe have been left stranded in the civil war in Sudan.
The Anti-Kannadiga Modi Govt has left them to their fate, instead of evacuating & ensuring their safe return.
Where are Mr. Prahlad Joshi & Shobha Karandje & BJP M.P’s?
SHAME ON U MR. BOMMAI! pic.twitter.com/1HW94lBTDD
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) April 18, 2023
Cong dubs govt ‘anti-Kannadiga’
Meanwhile, the Congress lashed out at the Modi government at the Centre and the Bommai government in Karnataka, terming them as “anti-Kannadiga”, while alleging that they are not taking steps to rescue the tribals in Sudan at the earliest. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala targeted the Centre and the Karnataka government, alleging that they left the tribals “to their fate”.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and rescue those stranded. “It is reported that 31 people from Karnataka belonging to Hakki Pikki tribe, are stranded in Sudan which is troubled by civil war. I urge @PMOIndia @narendramodi, @HMOIndia, @MEAIndia and @BSBommai to immediately intervene & ensure their safe return,” he tweeted.
It is reported that 31 people from Karnataka belonging to Hakki Pikki tribe, are stranded in Sudan which is troubled by civil war.
I urge @PMOIndia @narendramodi, @HMOIndia, @MEAIndia and @BSBommai to immediately intervene & ensure their safe return.
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) April 18, 2023
Earlier, an Indian national, Albert Augustine, working in Sudan died of a bullet injury on Sunday. The Indian embassy on Monday issued a fresh advisory urging Indians not to venture out of their residences and stay calm.
Also read: Sudan’s army and rival force battle, killing at least 27 including 1 Indian
Battle of supremacy
Sudan woke up to explosions and gunfire on Saturday after the culmination of a weeks-long power struggle between two generals who seized power in the country following a military coup in 2021. The two generals – Abdel Fattah al-Burhan who is the chief of Sudan’s army and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) – are former allies.
The two joined forces and worked together to topple former Sudan President Omar al-Bashir in 2019 and were instrumental in the 2021 military coup. However, negotiations to integrate RSF into Sudan’s military as part of plans to restore civilian rule in the country turned hostile when questions arose on who would command whom in the new regime.