The Sudanese community in Britain is urging the government to provide more assistance in bringing their family members, including National Health Service (NHS) doctors, back from Sudan. Although two planes were dispatched from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to evacuate UK diplomats and their families from Khartoum, other British citizens have yet to receive any support to leave the country.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that the evacuation of the diplomats and their dependents was “complex and rapid” due to threats to embassy staff in the capital. Meanwhile, hundreds of people have been killed in a violent conflict between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces, a powerful paramilitary group. The violence has even affected NHS medics.
The Sudanese Junior Doctors Association UK (SJDA-UK) has reported that 71 Sudanese NHS doctors are currently trapped in Sudan due to the ongoing conflict. The association tweeted that it is “concerned for their safety and the safety of their spouses and children.” Approximately half of these doctors are believed to be British nationals.
Dr Shaza Faycal, a trustee of SJDA-UK, is one of the many people whose family members are stuck in Sudan. Her young children, brother, and mother are attempting to return to the UK after visiting Sudan for the Eid celebrations. Dr Faycal emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating that “it’s literally war happening there.” She called for all NHS doctors and their families in Sudan to be evacuated as a priority.
Protests Outside Downing Street to Pressure Government to Help
Despite the rainy weather and the crowds gathering for the London marathon, Sudanese protesters remained outside Downing Street to demand that the government help British citizens stranded in Sudan. Mohammed Baraka, one of the demonstrators, revealed that his entire family is in Sudan and in a dire situation. He added that his younger brother is even “imprisoned in his apartment – no electricity, no water supply, and this morning the internet supply was disconnected.”
The Foreign Office has yet to confirm how many British citizens are in Sudan. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly encouraged British nationals in the area to register with the office, stating that “if an opportunity arises, we can find a way of helping them.” The Sudanese community in Britain is hoping that the government will take swift action to evacuate their loved ones from the conflict-ridden country.
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