Gambian Families Call for Quick Evacuation of Relatives in War-torn Sudan

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A column of smoke rises behind buildings near the airport area in Khartoum on April 19, 2023, amid fighting between the army and paramilitaries following the collapse of a 24-hour truce. AFP

By: Foday Manneh

Several families and friends of various Gambians in Sudan have called for help in quickly evacuating their relatives and loved ones from the war zone as fighting continues for a second week in Khartoum.

Following an outcry from some family members over the delay in evacuating their loved ones from the ongoing conflict in Sudan, The Alkamba Times spoke to some Gambians at home regarding the situation of their relatives in the North African nation.

A wife of a Gambian student in Sudan said her husband lives in a devastating situation as the war persists with three failed cease-fires. She called for help to reunite with her spouse.

“He has been living off campus and close to the military base, but when this incident started, due to the intensity of the fight happening right in his neighborhood, my husband had to move with his landlord, who is a Sudanese, to another town that was deemed safer,” she said.

” My husband, out of fear, wanted to evacuate, so he had to go back to his home where they were leaving to collect his documents, passports, and other valuable items. So on his way back, Bandits robbed him and took away his bag, which also had his cousin’s passport, phone, laptop, iPad, and other valuable items. So he went home severely distressed and broken,” the wife narrated.

She added, “I am devastated beyond words, and it is crazy because I don’t know who to call or message or who to reach out to again. I tried some contacts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but they say they cannot send money to Sudan due to the situation.”

The concerned wife said the Gambia government does not seem to understand or care about the gravity of what is happening in Sudan. Other countries have been evacuating their citizens, but the Gambia looks unconcerned.

A family member of a Gambian footballer who plays in Sudan said the situation had left the family distressed as they continue efforts to reunite with their loved one.

“It is hard for everyone, but we are sticking together and praying for him right now. We hope it all goes well as soon as possible,” the family member told TAT.

“Sometimes they experience internet and electricity outages. And the situation is getting worse by the day, but his team plans to evacuate them soon,” he added.

The management of another Gambian footballer in Sudan said the situation is worrying. However, they are optimistic about a quick evacuation of their client.

“He is safe but not in the best situation due to the crisis. The family is taking the situation with faith and prayers. Hopefully, he will soon join the family, InshAllah. The government is doing its best to evacuate all Gambian citizens there, and the Club is also doing its part,” he assured.

As of April 16, 2023, the Gambia government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirmed that 58 recorded Gambian students in Sudan were safe.

The government reassured the public of its efforts to ensure the safety of its citizens and all Gambians in Sudan, calling for families of stranded loved ones to remain calm as they undertake necessary steps to assist Gambian nationals within the conflict zone in Sudan.

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