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On the Ethiopian border.. the long wait to flee the war in Sudan


According to the International Organization for Migration, 3,500 people of 35 nationalities had crossed into Ethiopia. Turks made up 40% of them and Ethiopians 14%.

150 kilometers from the border with Ethiopia, a long line of minibuses regularly pulls up at checkpoints. At the end of the road, the Ethiopian flag flies: it is the end of ordeal for those fleeing the violent battles in Sudan.

Oktayoglu, a Turkish engineer who was working in a factory in Khartoum, woke up like everyone else to the sound of bombs on April 15th. On that day, war broke out between the army, led by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces, led by his deputy, Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo, known as “Hemedti.”

under bombing warplanes

Davutoglu, his wife and three children have waited a long time for things to calm down so they can flee the capital, whose five million residents have suddenly found themselves living under bombardments, artillery fire and street battles over the past two weeks.

The man and his family were able to leave their neighborhood in eastern Khartoum and headed first to Wad Madani, 200 km south, where they spent one night, and then to Gedaref, another 250 km east.

Then, with his family, he boarded one of the many minibuses that make trips to the border, and arrived at Galabat, where he spent a night waiting for the crossing between Sudan and Ethiopia, which is regularly closed between 5pm and 8am the next morning, to reopen.

The man and his family spent the night “on the ground in the open”, according to what he told AFP.

“Nine thousands”

Around them, men, women and children of all nationalities are trying to cross quickly. “Nine thousand people have crossed so far, most of them foreigners and many of them Turks,” an official at the border crossing told AFP.

According to the International Organization for Migration, on April 25, ten days after the fighting broke out, 3,500 people of 35 nationalities had crossed into Ethiopia. Turks made up 40% of them and Ethiopians 14%.

The official added, on condition of anonymity: “Sudanese who cross are mainly those who work in the Gulf and were on vacation in Sudan” when the fighting broke out.

Diaa El-Din Mohamed, an accountant working in Dubai, is among them. Many residents of Khartoum have left for Cairo (more than 2,000 kilometers north of the Sudanese capital) or Port Sudan, from where they leave on ships to Saudi Arabia after traveling 850 kilometers by land.

“more than 500 dead”

Muhammad told AFP: “The distance is 850 kilometers from Khartoum to the Ethiopian city of Gondar, which includes an airport, and I can book a direct ticket to Dubai, while access to Cairo needs to cross two thousand kilometers.”

Ahmed Hussein does not have a job waiting for him abroad. However, because of the war that killed more than 500 people in two weeks, destroyed entire neighborhoods, and now threatens to collapse the already deteriorating infrastructure in Sudan, the man preferred to leave his small company in Khartoum and emigrate.

He told AFP: “I will stay in Addis Ababa until the picture becomes clear in Sudan, and I will see if I can work in Ethiopia. But I do not know if this is possible.”

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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