Trapped Britons say Foreign Office won’t help them escape Sudan warzone

A British man trapped in Sudan‘s capital for almost a week has said the Foreign Office has done nothing to evacuate citizens, despite the ferocious bombing and gunfire.

The father-of-two, who asked for his name to be withheld for his safety, is sheltering in central Khartoum with his wife and children as well as 20 other foreign civilians.

The group, who are mostly aid workers, have been trapped in the epicentre of the fighting since Saturday when the fiercest clashes erupted between the country’s two top generals.

They are among several aid workers, western diplomats, UN officials and Sudanese civilians The Independent has spoken to over the last week who have resorted to begging for help on social media or relying on local volunteers, to try to secure supplies or to find a way out.

Despite the escalating violence and dwindling supplies, the Foreign Office had done little to help, the British family said.

On Friday morning, they were told to register their names in a list of those needing to be evacuated – but, after six days, “that’s it”, he told The Independent.

Now they have just one or two weeks of food supplies left and “bombs are dropping and you hear shooting every day”.

“I was told to stay in place. Then I heard nothing until day four… I called the Embassy again, which said, ‘I can assure you conversations are happening at the highest levels,’” he said, adding he has been advised to register for updates from the travel advice page for Sudan on the Government’s website, which urges people to not travel to the country.

“What annoys me is every other government is doing things – but ours is clearly not.”

“I do think they’ve now been woken up and are alert to it. I just hope now that they’ve woken up they actually do something,” he added.

Last year the Foreign Office said it had “lessons to learn” from the chaotic 2022 evacuation from Afghanistan following the withdrawal of international forces.

Ministers admitted a catalogue of errors over its handling of Britain’s exit from Afghanistan, and shut the door on many Afghans who helped the UK prior to the Taliban takeover.

The Independent since revealed that desperate Afghans in hiding from the Taliban were told that they could only come to safety in Britain if their documents were approved by the fundamentalists they were trying to flee.

An Afghan war veteran who served alongside British armed forces is among those who have fled to the UK on small boats and are now being threatened with deportation to Rwanda.

This newspaper is now calling for UK to support Afghan war heroes who served alongside Britain.

Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces, speaks at an undisclosed location

Over 400 people have already been killed and thousands have been injured since ferocious fighting erupted between Sudan’s military and rival paramilitary the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) for control of the country.

At the heart of the conflict are two generals: Sudanese army chief General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan and RSF’s leader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo who initially joined forces in a coup in 2021 just two years after the ouster of long-term autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

The pair became heads of the country’s new ruling Sovereign Council. However, tensions spilled into violence as they clashed over details of a transition agreement to civilian rule that was supposed to be signed last month and would have seen RSF forces merged into the military.

Despite repeated promises of a humanitarian ceasefire, most recently for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, foreign governments and international aid agencies have been paralysed to do anything because of the escalating violence.

People fleeing street battle between the forces of two rival Sudanese generals, are transported on the back of a truck in the southern part of Khartoum

Destroyed military vehicles are seen in southern in Khartoum, Sudan

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