Eight Mexicans, including minors, trapped in Sudan’s escalating conflict, seek rescue

Mexican citizens, including a family and UN officials, stranded in Sudan amid violent conflict seek urgent evacuation as exit routes remain blocked.

A Mexican-Sudanese family, two clergymen, two officials of international organizations, and an agricultural expert are the Mexicans who, during their stay in Sudan, were immobilized amid the fighting between the Army and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces(FAR).

The armed conflict, considered a coup d’état, has claimed the lives of at least 97 people and has left 942 wounded, according to a report from the Central Committee of Doctors of that country.

Sounds of the armed conflict in Sudan

The eight people from Mexico (including two minors) who have been unable to leave Sudanese territory were forced to take refuge in private homes to protect their lives in the face of the imminent risk.

Despite various complications due to the instability of the communications network, Infobae Mexico contacted Karol Alejandra Arámbula Carrillo, who worked as part of the United Nations Integration Mission for Assistance to Sudan (UNITAMS) and was unable to leave the African country after the outbreak of the conflict.

Debido al riesgo que el combate representa para la población civil, se ha recomendado que las personas permanezcan resguardadas dentro de sus hogares. (Abdullah Abdel Moneim/vía REUTERS)
Due to the risk the fighting poses to civilians, people have been advised to stay indoors. (Abdullah Abdel Moneim/via REUTERS)

Exit routes destroyed by the conflict

During the conversation, Arámbula mentioned that the main obstacle to their evacuation is that there has been no ceasefire and no humanitarian corridors have been installed to guarantee the safety of the civilian population. “The airport is closed and has been destroyed by the warring parties,” he said.

Faced with such a scenario, the only viable option would be an evacuation by land, but “security is not guaranteed either” since the state of the roads is unknown and most Mexicans are sheltered in Khartoum, the country’s capital, which has been one of the main conflict zones.

Due to the danger involved in traveling through the country, the obligatory shelter has generated great anguish among Mexicans in Sudan. Although official reports and Karol’s testimony indicate that everyone is in good health, “the fighting is more intense around us,” and “the situation is desperate,” she acknowledged.

According to the material the interviewee shared with this media, the detonations are perceptible from the house she is sheltering with a colleague from Panama.

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In addition to the escalation of armed collisions, stress and anxiety have increased since it has not been possible to set a date to evacuate them.

En palabras de una de las mexicanas atrapadas en Sudán, el aeropuerto de la capital ha sido "destruido" por el conflicto armado. (REUTERS).
In the words of one of the Mexicans trapped in Sudan, the capital’s airport has been “destroyed” by the armed conflict (REUTERS).

Two minors among the trapped Mexicans

In the interview, Karol Arámbula confirmed the identity of the Mexican nationals who are in that territory waiting for a stop to the fighting:

  1. Elizabeth Campero Casey
  2. Karol Alejandra Arámbula Carrillo
  3. Osman Abdelmoneim
  4. Sofia Abdelmoneim Campero (minor)
  5. Karim Abdelmoneim Campero (minor)
  6. Vicente Antonio García Moreno
  7. Dr. Ortiz Monasterio
  8. Mariam Parra

He indicated that, although they are not all sheltered in the same space, they have managed to contact each other. However, the connectivity and functioning of the networks have presented multiple interruptions.

Aunque las autoridades mexicanas han establecido contacto con los connacionales, no ha sido posible establecer un protocolo de rescate. (Planet Labs PBC via AP)
Although the Mexican authorities have established contact with the nationals, it has not been possible to establish a rescue protocol (Planet Labs PBC via AP).

In this regard, she acknowledged that the attention provided by the Mexican authorities has been “very good from the first moment” since the Mexican Embassy in Cairo (which covers the territory of Sudan) contacted her to receive updates at least twice a day.

Consequently, both Karol Arámbula and the rest of the Mexican citizens launched an urgent call to the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, as well as to other governments and international organizations, to exert “political pressure at a high level” so that the fronts in combat stop hostilities and make it possible for the civilian population to leave the country.

Specialists warned of a possible civil war.

In addition to the risk posed by the fighting in the country’s streets, reports from the Central Committee of Doctors of Sudan mentioned that some groups of the parties to the conflict had used hospitals as military sites, which was harshly criticized.

Meanwhile, a report from the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs detailed that Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan, General of the Army, ordered the dissolution of the FAR and declared it a rebel force. According to experts in the field, this situation could trigger the beginning of a civil war.