Philippines’ Presidential Communications Office said on Thursday that 409 Filipino citizens caught in the fierce fighting in Sudan have crossed the border and are now in Egypt.
“More buses of Filipino evacuees are expected,” Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokeswoman Teresita Daza said in a statement, without elaborating.
Daza said that Philippine Ambassador to Egypt Ezzedin Tago welcomed the first batch of 51 Filipino evacuees at Egypt’s Argeen border.
According to the Presidency, of the 409 Filipinos, some 335 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and family members left Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, on April 26 for Egypt via Wadi Halfa Highway.
Another 35 OFWs and 15 students were safely evacuated to Egypt with the help of Filipinos in Sudan as well as personnel from the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).
DMW Secretary Susan Ople and Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac are currently in Cairo, Egypt, to assist in the government’s evacuation efforts and lead the distribution of welfare assistance to evacuated OFWs from war-torn Sudan.
The official said they were still working for the exit of more Filipinos who want to leave Sudan. “We hope that the ceasefire will be extended so we can evacuate them safely,” he added.
The DFA said there are at least 740 Filipinos in Sudan, and the majority are professionals.