Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Sudan Evacuation: Should Khartoum Residents Stay or Leave?


Dallia Mohamed Abdelmoniem and her family were forced to make the difficult decision to leave their home city of Khartoum due to the intense fighting that had been taking place for over a week. With their cars vandalised, they were unable to leave on the 19th of April as planned. Relatives came to help them move to the outskirts of the city, where they had to decide between two routes – a 1,000km journey to the Egyptian border or an 850km trip to Port Sudan. With family members in Port Sudan, they chose the latter, taking 26 hours to get there.

The journey was filled with risks as they had to avoid RSF fighters and pass through army checkpoints every few hours. Despite this, there were some uplifting moments along the way, such as when a group of people living by the side of the road rushed to their bus to offer them drinks, snacks and good luck messages for their journey.

Ms Abdelmoniem believes that the situation in Sudan will get worse in the coming weeks and months due to an “acute” shortage of food, water, medicine and fuel, as well as limited access to electricity and communications. She is planning to take her mother to a safe country before returning when it is safe.

Meanwhile, Tagreed Abdin is one of those choosing to remain in Khartoum despite being able to hear the fighting from her home. She feels safer at home than on the streets and has electricity and running water. However, she is aware that things could change at any moment. She is also facing logistical challenges such as skyrocketing bus ticket prices and concerns about visas for her husband and teenage sons if they make it to the Egyptian border.

Ms Abdin has a message for those fighting – to “keep civilians out of this”. She hopes that any agreement reached or external pressure will guarantee the lives and safety of the Sudanese people. With thousands leaving and many more staying, it is clear that the people of Sudan are facing a difficult time.

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