Following an anxious wait for their families in the arrivals hall of Johannesburg’s OR Tambo airport, more than fifty South African citizens return home after being evacuated from Sudan following clashes between two rival generals.
A ministerial delegation headed by South Africa’s international relations minister Naledi Pandor is there to greet them. “It was traumatic… it feels good to be back home in our own country,” evacuee Nelson Newel says.
All South Africans including the ambassador to Sudan are now back home.
“Mixed feelings, I’m excited to be home, I’m very said for the people of Sudan because I made some good friends and I’ve left some staff members and colleagues behind.” says Ashwiin Ramraj, evacuated from Sudan.
“It feels very good man, it feels good to be safe, it feels good not to be worrying about bombs, ja it was very tough that side.”
Foreign nations have scrambled to evacuate thousands of their citizens by air, road and sea since the fighting plunged the poverty-stricken country into deadly turmoil on April 15.
“We just want South Africa to be assured because all of us have been waiting for you to come back, and we are absolutely happy that you have been able safely return home.” international relations minister Naledi Pandor told journalists.
President Cyril Ramaphosa had initially said there were 77 South Africans who had been rescued a few days ago.