A total of 340 Filipinos had made it to Egypt after escaping the violence in Sudan, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Saturday.
The Filipino evacuees arrived in Argeen, which is near Sudan's border with Egypt, from Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, and were welcomed by Philippine Ambassador to Egypt Ezzedin Tago.
There had been delays in processing their entry into Egypt due to the influx of evacuees, the DFA said, although they were later cleared by Egyptian authorities.
Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople, who is in Egypt to oversee the distribution of welfare assistance, said the 340 Filipinos would be repatriated in the coming days.
“The embassy and our DMW teams will make sure they will all be treated well, onboard buses and in Cairo,” Ople said in a statement.
She said the road trip from Argeen to Cairo is expected to take at least 15 hours with two rest stops, adding that Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) chief Arnell Ignacio is the lead official.
Ople said DFA officials and personnel are now processing the required clearances and exit visas.
Meanwhile, at least eight Filipinos from Khartoum arrived in Greece through a military aircraft.
Philippine Ambassador to Greece Giovanni Palec received the evacuees, who will be repatriated via the next available flight to Manila.
At least 58 Filipinos in Port Sudan were awaiting the ship that would bring them to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, while 16 Filipinos had already been received by the team led by Consul General Edgar Tomas Auxilian.
“DFA teams in Athens, Jeddah, and at the Egypt-Sudan border have been assisting Filipinos from Khartoum and are making arrangements for their repatriation via the next available flights. Coordination with the governments of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Greece on the safe passage of Filipino evacuees is continuing through the respective Philippine embassies,” the DFA said.
“[T]he number of Filipinos who have fled Khartoum has reached 496,” it added.
The violence in Sudan erupted between the forces of the two generals who seized power in a 2021 coup: the army chief and his deputy, who commands the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. — VBL, GMA Integrated News