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Sudan Crisis: Family of Ballymena Man Face ‘Terrifying’ Wait

A schoolgirl from Ballymena whose father is in Sudan has described it as a “terrifying time” for her family.

Hamza Edris, who is an Irish citizen, was visiting the country following the death of a family member when the fighting broke out.

His daughter, Rayann Edris, said Mr Edris is eligible to be evacuated but he did not want to leave his relatives.

Fighting in the African country broke out on 15 April amid a power struggle between rival generals.

More than 500 deaths have been reported so far in the fighting but the true number of casualties is believed to be much higher.

Millions remain trapped in country’s capital, Khartoum.

Ms Edris, 17, told Good Morning Ulster: “He lives here in Ballymena but he left recently for my grandmother’s funeral.

“My aunt was my grandmother’s primary carer, but after her death my dad couldn’t leave my aunt unsupported.”

Mr Edris was due to come back for Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, the holy month in the Muslim calendar.

Ms Edris was able to make daily contact with her father when the conflict first started but communication has become increasingly difficult and she hasn’t heard from him for a week.

“This is a terrifying time. We’re all terrified, we’re extremely worried for him. We’ve really been on edge,” she said.

“Every phone call that goes off is terrifying. Just the other day in school I got called out of class for good news; I was told I was a senior prefect.

“But as soon as my name was called I thought it was bad news. I thought they were coming to tell me that something happened to him. I’m extremely on edge.”

Ms Edris said she is also fearful for other family members within the country.

She added: “My dad is a brave man, he is staying there by choice, but just hearing his voice would break your heart.”

Ms Edris urged the international community to “show the same empathy” that has been expressed for those in Ukraine and Afghanistan.

Thousands of people, including foreigners in the country, are attempting to flee the country.

The UK and other countries have been facilitating evacuation flights for eligible citizens during a temporary ceasefire.

The majority of the 209 Irish people evacuated from the country were carried on UK flights via Cyprus.

Source : BBC