Azhaar with Alaweya Rishwan, Abdalla Sholgami, images via BBC

A British man, stranded in Sudan, was shot while his wife died of starvation in the war-torn city of Khartoum due to the abject negligence of the UK authorities, reported BBC.

The victim, identified as 85-year-old Abdalla Sholgami, was reportedly not evacuated despite living opposite to the British embassy building. He and his disabled wife Alaweya Rishwan were left to fend for themselves.

It must be mentioned that Britain sent its Army and Royal Air Force to evacuate diplomats staying at the country’s embassy in Khartoum. Despite multiple requests, the family of Abdalla Sholgami was not rescued.

He was instead told to go to an airfield, which is located 40 km outside the city, to hop on an evacuation flight. It implied that Abdalla Sholigami and his wife had to cross the warzone.

As such, they stayed put in their home until supplies ran dry. The 80-year-old man was forced to step out of his home, following which he was shot thrice by snipers. He sustained injuries on his chest, hand and lower back.

Abdalla Sholigami was rushed to another part of the war-torn city by a family member but his disabled wife was left home alone. With no food and water at her disposal, she died of starvation.

Despite their attempts of the family to contact the UK’s Foreign Office, the family did not receive any help. The dead body of Alaweya Rishwan was discovered by an official from the Turkish embassy. She is yet to be buried.

Abdalla Sholigami managed to survive the gunshot wounds and escaped to Egypt. He was reportedly treated by his doctor-son without any anaesthetic.

Azhaar, the granddaughter of Abdalla Sholgami, said, “I was informed they had 100 troops who came and evacuated their staff. They could not cross the road? I’m still very disappointed in them.”

“What happened to my grandparents was a crime against humanity, not only by the RSF, not only by the (Sudanese army) but by the British embassy, because they were the only ones that could have prevented this from happening to my grandparents,” she emphasised.

While speaking about the matter, the UK Foreign Office said, “The ongoing military conflict means Sudan remains dangerous… the UK is taking a leading role in the diplomatic efforts to secure peace in Sudan…Our ability to provide consular assistance is severely limited and we cannot provide in-person support within Sudan.”

The Sudan Conflict and Operation Kaveri

There is an ongoing conflict between Sudan’s military and its main paramilitary force. They are fighting to take control of the country. The war threatens the stability of Sudan and the wider region. 

As such, the government of India launched Operation Kaveri to evacuate Indians from war-hit Sudan. The Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan went to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to manage the evacuation.

The Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar regularly updated about the evacuation process on social media. Apart from Indian Nationals, foreign nationals were also evacuated by India.

The Indians were evacuated from Port Sudan to Jeddah after the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) agreed to extend their ceasefire amid ongoing violence in the capital Khartoum and the western Darfur region.

Indians are being taken from Port Sudan to Jeddah on Navy ships and C-130J planes, from where they are being flown to India on C17 jet planes. On April 30, Dr S Jaishankar informed that 229 Indians reached Bengaluru.

On April 29, 365 passengers reached India in one batch, and 231 reached home in another batch. In a tweet, Muraleedharan mentioned that around 2,100 Indians were scheduled for evacuation from battle-torn Sudan.