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Irish mother who escaped Sudan fighting with her children ‘heartbroken’ as husband left behind

A woman from Ireland describes her escape with her children when gunfire erupted in the area. She is “heartbroken”, however, that her husband still remains in Sudan.

Sarah Widaa, a mother of three children, told Sky News she had just under an hour to reach the French Embassy for an emergency evacuation.

Her and her children arrived in Djibouti, Monday.

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Ms Widaa described her escape by saying that her husband drove her family out of their home in Kafouri, a suburb in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital. She said there was gunfire on the way and she told her kids in the car to “duck, get on the floor”

She said, “I’m afraid.”

Ms Widaa stated that when she arrived at the French embassy, they “went above and beyond”.

She said, “I felt safer.” “They were armed.” Over an hour passed in the bus. We headed to the airbase.

We stayed there for two hours. No food was available. “There are Greeks and Americans there.”

During the fighting the water supply to their home was cut off for 5 days. They had to buy it on the black market.

“We did not have much money at home and we were afraid we would be robbed,” said Ms Widaa.

It was very difficult. “There are still many Irish citizens in Sudan.”

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Sudan – Who is waiting for evacuation?

Ms Widaa stated that her husband did NOT join them during the evacuation because he was caring for his diabetic father, who is taking medication.

She was “heartbroken”, she said, to leave her family behind. “What is going to happen when his father-in law’s medication runs low?”

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‘Everyone is getting desperate’

Ms Widaa stated that her cousin didn’t receive an email regarding the evacuation. Instead, she took a bus to the Egyptian Border. The vehicle broke down three times.

She described the border as “crazy”, with “quite an amount of Sudanese people trying to get into”.

She added, “Everyone is becoming desperate.”

Ms Widaa described the scene in Kafouri that she left behind, saying the day before violence began she took her kids to the ice-cream shop.

Everyone was out. “The same area is now pitch dark,” she added.

She said that buildings were burned and bullet-ridden cars were parked in the middle on the street.

Ms Widaa added that she would like to return to her house, saying: “I own my home there.” My children have school and friends in that area. We were happy.”

Image: Nadine, one of Sarah Widaa’s children

Nadine, the nine-year-old daughter of Ms Widaa, told Sky News it was “scary”, to live in the capital city during the fighting.

She said: “We slept on the floor because we were afraid of bullets.

We were watching television when a bullet struck our window. It was very loud. “I was shaking till the end of the night.”

Irish Teacher: ‘Shooting did not stop for five days.’

Another Irish woman, Cathy, was among the safe evacuation.

The teacher who lives on the campus of a school and has two sons said that “the shooting didn’t stop for 5 days”.

Image: Cathy spoke with Sky News

She said, “Our window exploded.” We were underneath the mattress. Liam [one her sons] told her: “Mummy, the glass hit me.” It bounced off of me.”

Cathy and her family were able to sneak out from the school. They eventually reached a safe area where they were taken to a friends house and then airlifted.

Click here to read more

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Trapped Doctor Tells of “War Zone”

A doctor from the NHS trapped in Sudan said that he was living a “horrible nightmare”, but he has not been able to contact the Foreign Office.

Mark Austin of Sky News spoke with Dr Ahmed, who said that he has been working for the NHS for 3 years and went home to see his family.

He moved his family south of Khartoum after the fighting started, but still didn’t feel safe.

He said: “The entire capital [has] turned into a warzone.” It is dangerous to even consider moving away from the capital. It is a very difficult and stressful time.”

Dr Ahmed stated that there was limited access to healthcare, water and electricity. Violence was also getting closer to the shelter where he was staying.

Dr Ahmed criticised the UK Government, saying that “I don’t believe we’ve received enough attention.” They only remove the diplomats. There are others. “We deserve more attention”


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