Hisham Mohamed was in Sudan visiting relatives when fighting broke out between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.
Welland, Ontario, is currently residing in Cairo, Egypt, hoping that his family members back home can cross the border safely so they can travel with him to Canada.
He speaks on CBC Radio gift And Morning subway On Tuesday, Mohammed recalled his treacherous journey to get away from the fighting.
He was quiet [the] a trip. I took cars and rode motorcycles [and] bus until I finally reached the border.
“It’s very dangerous and difficult. You go from one checkpoint to the next and in between, you know, you hope nothing explodes or the fighting doesn’t continue until you get to the next one. And you do it from there step by step. He walks.”
Muhammad said it took him three days to reach the border.
Fighting broke out in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, and other parts of the country on April 15, as powerful rival military factions battled for control. More than 420 people have been killed in the fighting, including 264 civilians, and more than 3,700 have been wounded.
I will never forget this incident. »
Mohamed, who was on a return flight scheduled for April 18, recalls learning he had to leave Sudan after the fighting began.
“The day before my decision… [there was] No water, no electricity, nothing. He said: We were trying to go out of the neighborhood…to fetch water and get water.
He said they were stopped by “soldiers” who spoke to them and the occupants of another car.
“And they just fired [the] another person in the car. He said, “I will never forget this incident.”
“That’s when I realized, you know, this only happens in the water. I said it was impossible for me to stay here and wait. It was then that I decided I was going to make this dangerous journey and I hope I accomplished it.”
Mohamed said he had been in touch with Global Affairs “from day one”.
“I spoke to them [and] They said, “Just sign your name, we are aware of the situation and don’t have an evacuation plan or anything yet.” Just hide and stay safe. »
Morning subway10:56Escape from Khartoum: A Canadian embarks on a perilous journey to escape warring factions
Muhammad said he called again on the second and third day, but the response was the same.
Since then, he says, he hasn’t been able to reach anyone at Global Affairs and no one has contacted him, even though they had “my email and my phone number, and no one called me. Nothing happened.”
He said the Canadian government should “at least” contact “the people on the list, contact them, know where they are” and let them know what’s going on.
CBC Hamilton asked Global Affairs Canada for comment on what people like Mohammed can expect from them, but has yet to hear back.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there were Canadian warplanes and warships in the area. “We are looking forward to creating direct air bridges, bridges for Canadians and their families,” he said.
“There are very limited places where these air bridges can occur,” he said.
On Sunday, dozens of Sudanese Canadians gathered in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto to demand an end to the fighting.
They have also used their peaceful protest to ask the Canadian government to help them care for loved ones who are stuck in Sudan or forced to flee to neighboring countries to escape the fighting.
Ashraf Ahmed, president of the Sudanese Canadian Community Association, said that members of the community are “concerned” about the situation in Sudan.
“Unfortunately for the Sudanese-Canadians who are trapped there, they are desperate and cannot evacuate… Their supplies are running out and no one knows what will happen out of desperation,” Ahmed told CBC News.
“To tell you the truth, all of us, including there, are starting to feel abandoned by the international community and hope our government will do something to help.”
Ottawa announced Sunday that Canada will temporarily suspend operations in Sudan and that Canadian diplomats will work “from a safe location outside the country… to support Canadians who remain in the country.”
On Saturday, the federal government said people could not be flown in and that authorities were “coordinating with other countries to respond to the crisis”.
Nearly 1,600 Canadians are registered as being in Sudan as of Saturday, according to Global Affairs Canada.