Bangladesh is planning evacuation of its citizens from war-ravaged Yemen and charter planes to ferry them home as around 600 Bangladeshi expatriates initially identified in Sana and other cities were awaiting immediate rescue, according to officials in Dhaka and Kuwait.
Dhaka also continued efforts to ferry some of them home in an Indian ship which is scheduled to leave the Yemeni port of Aden on Sunday morning carrying Indian nationals, they added.
‘An Indian ship will leave Aden tomorrow morning. We have talked to the Indian authorities so that it could accommodate some of our citizens to evacuate them from Yemen safely,’ said Bangladesh mission councillor in Kuwait Mahbub Alam, now in Djibouti to facilitate the evacuation.
He told New Age that India would obviously prefer evacuation of their citizens first. ‘India has agreed in principle to help evacuate Bangladeshi nationals trapped in Yemen if there is space available in their ship,’ said Mahbub, who reached there on Friday. ‘We have also taken a move to charter planes for immediate evacuation of our nationals as they are at risk.’
He said Bangladesh did not have any mission in Yemen, which was causing some ‘technical problems’ in evacuating Bangladesh nationals.
A civil war is raging in Yemen with Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces carrying out airstrikes to push back Houthi rebels, who have captured its capital.
‘We have identified about 600 Bangladeshis in Sana. We are trying to send a plane to ferry them home safely,’ foreign secretary M Shahidul Haque said.
He said they were not sure how many of them would be willing to return home leaving their jobs.
The secretary expected that the diplomat sent to Sana via Djibouti would arrive there on Sunday to facilitate the evacuation.
Some 1,500 to 3,000 Bangladesh citizens were staying in different places of Yemen and many of them requested evacuation, said officials concerned.
Bangladesh has requested the International Organisation for Migration, Saudi Arabia and India to help evacuate the Bangladesh nationals from the strife-torn Yemen. But neither India nor Saudi Arabia had so far initiated any move in this regard, according to officials at the foreign ministry dealing with the evacuation process.
Expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain said that the foreign ministry was negotiating with the Indian authorities so that Bangladeshis were evacuated by Indian ships along with Indian nationals.
The Bangladesh government had successfully repatriated more than 36,000 Bangladeshis from war-ravaged Libya in 2011 and this time it would be possible to ferry home all those trapped in Yemen, the minister hoped.
Foreign ministry director general (consular and welfare) Lutfar Rahman said that Bangladesh was weighing all possible ways, including sending ships, to evacuate its nationals from Yemen. Many of them were facing food crisis, he added.
Sarat Das, chief of mission of the International Organisation for Migration in Dhaka, said, ‘We are in touch with the government and IOM authorities in places in and outside Yemen.
‘They are working on possible routes for safe evacuation from different places in Yemen,’ he added.
India on Friday began airlifting its citizens from Yemen. After hectic diplomatic efforts, India finally got permission to land in Sana. Nearly 2,500 Indian nationals are waiting in Sana to fly home, the Indian media reported quoting the external affairs ministry.
Indian minister of state for external affairs VK Singh was in Djibouti to oversee the evacuation operation, according to the media reports.
Source: New Age