Mr Nura Rimi, Nigeria’s ambassador to Egypt, said Nigeria is being accorded top priority by the Egyptian government in the granting of evacuation approval for its citizens fleeing Sudan.
Rimi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday that the feat was achieved because of the cordial relations between both countries.
The outbreak of violence between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary group, Rapid Support Forces, had left thousands of foreigners, including diplomats and aid workers, stranded in the country.
But Rimi said that many countries chose to evacuate their citizens through the southern part of Egypt because of their confidence in the government and people of that country.
Rimi added that foreign countries refused to use some of Egypt’s neighbours because of the instability in those countries.
He explained that in offering assistance to the countries seeking evacuation approval, Egypt must first think of the security implication.
“It was not an easy decision as I said because security considerations were taken, but Nigerians were within the shortest possible time granted approval to be evacuated through Egypt.
“That’s why I kept saying those conditions and guidelines that were given were in good faith because Egypt has to preserve its own national security.
“If you look at the countries around Egypt, almost all of them are in one form of crisis or the other. So, it is always necessary for countries to safeguard their territorial integrity and to make sure that they guarantee their own security because if a country is not secured then nobody will want to live in it. Even the citizens will run away and leave the country,’’ he told NAN.
Rimi lauded the sincere efforts of the Egyptian government for the priority given in approving the use of its border to evacuate Nigerians stranded in Sudan.