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Two teachers’ nail-biting escapes from Sudan

Zoe Salim and Jennifer McLellan struggled to flee Sudan in the wake of sudden attacks by a paramilitary group in Khartoum. The UK called for British citizens to make their way to the Wadi Seidna Air Base during a 72-hour ceasefire that ended 10pm on Thursday, UK time.

According to the Guardian, Salim – a former head of languages in London – had travelled to Sudan with her two children to spend Ramadan with family. However, what should have been a time for relaxation and enjoyment was interrupted by bombing and gunfire.

Trying to get any information from the UK government proved fruitless, with lines to the embassy supposedly dead – an experience shared by many other British citizens in Sudan. In the end, Salim and her family secured a bus in the early hours of Sunday, and headed for the Egyptian border.

“By 7am, I’ve had three sets of guns pointed at me,” said Salim of her experience.

What should have been a 40-minute journey out of Khartoum, became a two-and-a-half-hour trudge through three army checkpoints. By 8pm they finally arrived in Argeen, Egypt. It has been a long and difficult journey for them, but they are now safe and waiting to hear from their loved-ones.

Also fleeing the conflict was Jennifer McLellan, whom the Gazette reported about on Wednesday.

English teacher and Mum of four, McLellan, had been waiting to hear from the Foreign Office since the conflict began. Like Salim, McLellan and her family struggled to receive adequate communication from the British government.

However, the Gazette is glad to report that McLellan and her four children boarded a flight on Wednesday, after a perilous journey out of Khartoum.

According to the Mirror, McLellan and her family were making their way to the air base when their tyre blew out. In a dangerous area, and with no spare tyre, they were forced to pay 200,000 SDG (£267) for a bus driven by two men. Their final leg of the journey was no less dangerous, as they became caught in gunfire on a bridge, before finally making it to the plane.

McLellan and her four children are now safe in the UK, but it is not the end of the road for them. Mohamed, McLellan’s husband, has stayed behind in Sudan to care for his elderly mother. We hope he remains safe at this very distressing time for his family.

Image courtesy of Pexels
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