Sudanese Canadian worries about family amid crisis, says any support is welcome
The Defense Minister has said flights will resume to get Canadians safely out of Sudan as soon as possible.
“The situation remains very volatile and dangerous,” Anita Anand said in a media update in Dartmouth, NSW on Friday morning.
Two planes were scheduled to depart in the morning, but were delayed due to unstable ground conditions.
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Every day, Rafeeda Khashmelmous anxiously checks her phone for updates on her loved ones in conflict-ridden Sudan.
She is delighted to see federal support to move Sudanese Canadians to safety by plane.
Khashmelmous says any help would be greatly appreciated.
“Privileges and dual citizens can evacuate,” she says. “But the majority of Sudanese are trying to support themselves and find safe routes to foreign countries.”
But her relatives remain.
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Khashmelmous and her immediate family moved to Nova Scotia in 2002, but she says most of her loved ones still live in Sudan.
Basic necessities, she says, are necessary for those remaining in the war-torn country.
“We don’t have a lot of aid in this country,” she says. “Food supplies are very scarce. One of her cousins told me that a nearby water station had been bombed.”
Khashmelmous said the lack of a steady supply of food and water right after fasting during Ramadan is especially difficult.
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In Anand’s update on the evacuation effort, she said two flights were delayed on Friday morning amid safety concerns. We had a mechanical issue on one flight, which has since been resolved.
Anand says safety is a priority after a Turkish evacuation flight comes under fire.
“With the consent of the host country, we make sure the airport is suitable for flight takeoff,” she says. “Airport terrain is very rough. Continued evaluation is required.”
She says she has contingency plans in place for evacuation should other problems arise, such as mechanical problems.
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“We are looking at all options,” says Anand. “This is a very serious plan that we are working on. For operational security reasons, we cannot elaborate on the various options we are considering.”
About 250 Canadians have been evacuated so far.
Khashmelmous says the most important battle for those left behind is ensuring their basic needs are met.
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