‘Every day someone is dying’: Manitoban concerned for loved ones in Sudan

A Manitoba man whose family is in the war-torn country of Sudan is concerned for them, saying humanitarian aid is desperately needed.

Mekki Mohamed says his father and sister are in Sudan and his father wants to stay in the country.

Fighting broke out in Sudan on April 15 between two generals and their loyalists who are trying to seize control of the country since April 15.

“Just every day someone is dying, some people are caught in the middle of the fire,” Mohamed said.

Mohamed keeps in touch with his family through apps like WhatsApp and they tell him how the cost of living has skyrocketed.

However, Mohamed is unable to send them money directly as he says the banks are closed.

“I have to go find another way to send them my support. My monthly support. At this point the Western Union is closed, banks closed.”

He wants to see peace talks between the two opposing forces, hoping other countries will help with the talks.

“There is still no process of peace, of saving our citizens.”

Mohamed is hoping humanitarian efforts will be ramped up, saying Sudan is an underdeveloped country with many of its citizens already in poverty. He expects the war will make things more difficult for struggling Sudanese citizens.

Reuben Garang was a child soldier in the 1980s – before Sudan and South Sudan split in 2011. He was in South Sudan last week.

“To see people fighting – it’s so disappointing because it reminds you of your situation,” Gerang said.

For Gerang, it brings the trauma of past conflicts back up to the surface.

”Civilians in Sudan are suffering and they are suffering for something that they don’t want. They don’t want to fight and they don’t even want the military to lead the country.”

The United Nations estimates 815,000 people will flee the country due to war. The UN says none of the ceasefires are being respected and Sudan is nearing a humanitarian breaking point.

“Without a quick resolution of this crisis we will continue to see more people forced to flee in search of safety and basic assistance,” UN Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees Raouf Mazou said at a UN conference.

Approximately 400 Canadians have fled Sudan.

About half of those people were flown out by the federal government this weekend. Those flights have stopped due to security concerns from the Canadian federal government.

There are roughly 230 Canadians looking for help to get out from Global Affairs.

The federal government has announced special measures for Sudanese nationals in Canada. As of Sunday, Sudanese nationals in Canada can extend their stay or change their status as a visitor, student, or temporary worker. The federal government says this includes free open work permits.

The government is advising people looking to leave they might be able to find commercial options by land. 

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