Boston woman fears for family stuck in war-torn country

Meinas Mohamed

Meinas Mohamed said she was “just hoping for the best” for family members in Sudan

A pharmacist in Lincolnshire has said she is terrified for the safety of members of her extended family who are trapped in conflict-hit Sudan.

Violence erupted in the North East African country on 15 April.

Meinas Mohamed, an Irish national, who works at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital, said her father managed to escape via a French rescue flight but other family members were still there.

She said the situation in Sudan was “really volatile, really horrific”.

Ms Mohamed, who has been working in Boston for the past five years, said her six-year-old cousin, who has Down’s syndrome, was among the relatives left unsafe in their homes outside the capital, Khartoum, where intense fighting had broken out between two rival armies over control of the country.

Sudanese children

Ms Mohamed’s cousins, including a six-year-old who has Down’s syndrome, are among relatives living outside Khartoum

She said: “There are issues with electricity. Can they get running water? Can they get bread? Basic things that people had no issue getting, [but] now supplies are running low, especially the inner city hospitals. There have been issues with getting medications, oxygen tanks.

“I have a cousin who has special needs. How is she going to understand everything that’s happening to her?

“I have elderly relatives who have really serious illnesses. How are they going to have their medications sent to them?”

Ms Mohamed, who helps to treat cancer patients at Boston Pilgrim, said she was “just worried and anxious all the time” for members of her extended family in Sudan as there had been “heavy bombing” close to their neighbourhood.

“I feel so guilty and so sad. Part of me wishes I was there with them.

“We’re just hoping for the best.”

Ms Mohamed, whose family lives near Belfast, said her father and her uncle, who both have Irish citizenship, had been visiting relatives in Sudan for Ramadan.

Two Sudanese men

Ms Mohamed’s father (left) was able to get out, but she said she feared for the safety of her uncle (right) and other relatives

While her father, a retired NHS doctor, had managed to get out quickly, her uncle had decided to remain in the country to look after the rest of her extended family, who are Sudanese nationals, she added.

“[It’s] so nerve-wracking because the communication has been essentially kind of cut down and it’s so weak at the moment – the infrastructure – that any sort of communication we can get is vital.

“It’s hard to even say if ‘worry’ is a big enough word for it. We’re taking it day by day and hoping that they can give us daily updates.”

Ms Mohamed said she had been in touch with other members of Lincolnshire’s Sudanese community in a bid to provide help and support to those affected.

The UK government has begun evacuating British nationals from the country.

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