Sudan citizens unable to escape with passports locked in Western embassies

Sudan citizens unable to escape with passports locked in Western embassies

A Sudanese passport Credit: Milyan212 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

Some civilians in Sudan unable to leave the country as their passports are locked in now-closed western Western embassies.

Sudanese nationals have today, May 1, reported to the BBC that they cannot get their passports and escape the conflict in their home country as they are locked in now-closed embassies, where they had been going through visa applications.

Rami Badawi said to the BBC: “I want to leave but I can’t.”

Mr Badawi, who works in Sudan for a French company, had handed his passport to the French Embassy as part of a Visa application for a business trip to France. But when the international ambassadors were evacuated, the embassies were closed.

Having attempted to contact the French embassy after fighting broke out but receiving no response, Rami is now stuck in Khartoum with no viable escape route. His family, who all have their passports, decided to stay and support him rather than leave him stranded.

Another man, Mohamed Elfadil had been trying to get a visa for a holiday in Spain when the fighting broke out. He had managed to speak to somebody at the Spanish Embassy, but when it was discovered that he was Sudanese and not Spanish, the operator hung up on him.

Another man who had reported similar non-cooperation from the Spanish Embassy had managed to cross into Ethiopia on an expired passport, admitting he was lucky to get out of Sudan.

The Spanish foreign ministry has urged those who have passports locked in embassies to seek alternative travel documents from Sudanese authorities.

Spain is not the only embassy accused of not returning passports, as the Swedish embassy has also come under some fire. Ahmed Mahmoud, a filmmaker hoping to attend a Swedish film festival has also become stranded. He told the BBC of his concerns for himself and his country:

“If this war carries on, I will need to leave immediately. It is going to be very bad for people like me, for civil society, artists – it will be like what al-Sisi did in Egypt.”

With fighting escalating in Khartoum and surrounding areas, it seems a cruel fate, particularly for those who had already made plans to leave the country, if only temporarily for business or leisure.

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Written by

David Laycock

Dave Laycock has always written. Poems, songs, essays, academic papers as well as newspaper articles; the written word has always held a great fascination for him and he is never happier than when being creative. From a musical background, Dave has travelled the world performing and also examining for a British music exam board. He also writes, produces and performs and records music. All this aside, he is currently fully focussed on his journalism and can’t wait to share more stories from around the world and beyond.