India on 23 December 2013 evacuated all its employees from the strife torn South Sudan. It has also shut down all its oilfields amid escalating violence in the country. The 11 employees deputed by ONGC Videsh Ltd. at the Greater Nile Oil Project and Block 5A in Sudan working on 40000 barrels per day have been airlifted.
Evacuation has happened in two batches and the airlifted employees have arrived safely to India. The company made all arrangements to evacuate its personnel as rebel forces loyal to deposed South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar captured Unity state in which most of the oil fields are operating.
ONGC Videsh Ltd. is the overseas arm of the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).
Earlier, United Kingdom sent an aircraft to Juba in South Sudan to evacuate Britons amid fighting that followed a reported coup attempt.
At present, South Sudan is facing an ethnic violence, which is led by the former Vice President of South Sudan, Riek Machar. The fighting in South Sudan broke on 15 December 2013 and by now it has claimed about 500 lives, which include a life of an Indian Soldier, who was working as United Nations peacekeeper.
President Kiir, who is a member of the majority Dinka ethnic group, sacked the Vice President Machar, who belongs to Nuer community in July 2013. He was sacked on accuse of coup attempt. As per Machar, the President is carrying out the trying to clean of his rivals.
Ethnic Nuer is the second largest group in South Sudan. Riek Machar was appointed as the Vice president in 2005 and has retained the post even after independence of South Sudan in 2011, till the time he was sacked by the President.
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