An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) has been injured in the ongoing clashes between the Sudanese army and paramilitaries in Khartoum, Sudan, with more than 80 Filipinos requesting to be rescued, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Affairs Eduardo Jose de Vega told ABS-CBN News on Thursday that they were still validating the profile of the said Filipino.
“There was one na nadala sa hospital dahil dumaplis iyong stray bullet but he is recovering,” he said.
“Walang namatay [na Pilipino] at hindi malubha ang kalagayan nito [na injured],” he added.
There are almost 500 Filipinos in Sudan, most of whom are professors in international schools, company executives, or engineers, De Vega noted. There are also some domestic helpers, but “not a lot,” he said.
Out of the 500, more than 80 have requested to be rescued, 37 of them have been asking to be repatriated while 49 have requested relocation.
“Dadami iyan, iyong mga nag-ri-request ng repatriation, dadami iyan in the next few days, for sure,” the DFA official said.
The DFA is now looking for ways to help the Filipinos especially since there have been no flights allowed to go in or out of Sudan yet.
“Ang problema lamang hindi sila maiuuwi kasi there is no flights. So what we are doing is the embassy is planning to send a team, a rapid response team and we are working to check if may land transportation to drive them from Khartoum, the capital of Sudan to Egypt. That’s a long ride, mga 10 hours iyon,” De Vega explained.
“Kailangan the conditions are passable na mapasok and to fly out. I’ll say na ang priority ay food and supplies. I sincerely hope that by next week we can bring home, we can go inside Sudan, and once we go inside then we will bring home some Filipinos,” he added.
Relocating some Filipinos would be a challenge as well, especially if they don’t have working visas for other countries, he said.
“They have to get our of Sudan, pagdating sa Cairo, that’s what we will have to see from there kasi eventually ang bagsak noon ay Philippines. Unless they have visa to some other place, we can relocate them for working purposes,” he said.
The DFA is asking Filipinos in Sudan to contact the consulate office or embassy immediately so they will be monitored and given support.
“Kung may contact po sila ng embahada…iyong mga hindi pa nagre-register o hindi pa alam ng embassy kung nasaan kayo pakitawag na, magtawag na po kayo,” De Vega said. “Stay indoors and wait for further news from our embassy in Cairo [in Egypt].”