Port Sudan is awash with chaos.
The world is flooded with hundreds of people who have just returned from Khartoum, where the violence was at its worst.
The Maritime Social Club in Port Sudan is where they are gathered. Now it’s an announcement and registration center for evacuation ships.
Every now and then, a passport number and name are called out loudly and hundreds of people’s hopes are briefly raised. But for everyone but one, those hopes are abruptly dashed.
The Sudanese faces are a small number compared with the Yemenis and Syrians who were registering for a Saudi Arabian military evacuation ship.
The war that they fled to find refuge in Sudan has followed them.
Raiida: “We suffer,” she says. “We have never seen a war as bad as this in Syria.”
Raiida, who was visiting her brother in Sudan for a week, became trapped in the conflict.
Sudan’s capital Khartoum has been destroyed by war, resulting in the death of hundreds and injuries to thousands.
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“Life is unbearable there. No basic means of survival are available. There are no pharmacies or hospitals. “Food and water have been completely depleted, and the houses around us were destroyed,” said Mutaz Abdulbas, a Khartoum-native who has left his hometown.
It is still difficult to comprehend the sheer number of people who have been displaced.
While we are discussing the destruction of the war, a woman pleads: “Don’t discuss it.” Discuss asylum! “We need asylum.”
In the oppressive heat of the afternoon on the coast, hours earlier, a boat pulled into Othman Digna Port.
Passengers have traveled ten hours from Saudi Arabia to Sudan. This is the first route out of the country, and it’s reserved for those who can’t wait until the airports open again.
Many are returning pilgrims from Mecca who claim they were given temporary amnesty, but chose to rush home instead.
Ibrahim Eltayeb says, “Death can come anywhere,” as the ferry cuts across the deep waters of Red Sea heading towards Sudan.
It is important to spend time with your family.