By PATRICK JARAMOGI
KHARTOUM, Sudan [SHIFT MEDIA]Over 300 Ugandans have marked Idd el Fitri hidden in hotel basements and barricaded homes, some living in darkness and without water. This follows disruption of supply of utilities in the midst of a fierce firelight between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the
paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), now designated as rebels by the government of the Republic of Sudan.
Uganda’s ambassador to Khartoum H.E Dr. Hajj Rashid Ssemedu told the press that a proposal was yesterday agreed for a three day truce, which had been considered by the warring parties at
the end of Ramadhan, to enable celebration of one of the holiest days on the Islamic calendar, appears to have been scuttled by continued skirmishes mainly in the city of Khartoum.
Proposals for a ceasefire were thrice previously undermined by heavy fighting and shelling, in which some 600 people were killed, and another 2600 are nursing injuries, since fighting broke out 6 days ago. According to sources, Sudanese health authorities and
the Wold Health Organisation (WHO). The dead include 1 American citizen.
“We are grateful to H.E. the President of the Republic of Uganda Rtd Gen Yoweri Museveni for his high level efforts that we belief shall culminate in the safe evacuation of Ugandans trapped in Sudan. He has showed considerable care about the welfare and safety of Ugandans.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Gen Jeje Odongo and the Permanent Secretary, have showed concern, seeking daily updates and making assurances about the need to ensure safety of Ugandan citizens.
The entire staff at the Embassy deserve deep commendations for their efforts and commitment that has given hope to the 300 Ugandans caught up in the war,” said Dr. Rashid Yahya Ssemuddu, Uganda’s Ambassador to Khartoum, Republic of Sudan.
Without disclosing details, Dr. Ssemuddu said President Museveni has showed exceptional care for Ugandans in Sudan and he is confident efforts by concerned government institutions have been well aligned to deliver the trapped Ugandans to safety.
In his Idd el fitri message, Ambassador Ssemuddu has appealed to all Ugandans trapped in various locations in Sudan, to persevere through the hardships and not risk their lives by coming out in the open, until they are told to do so.
He expressed optimism that a window
of opportunity could present itself in the coming days that could enable safe evacuation of all Ugandans.
Amongst those trapped, include: 19 pilgrims who were in transit to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, through Khartoum. Others include patients who had travelled to undergo heart surgery, students, some members of the business community and Embassy staff.
The Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been engrossed in a flurry of activities, which have involved coordination amongst institutions and individuals, contact tracing and
generally establishing the whereabouts of Ugandans.
Four countries in the East African region, including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda are understood to have made plans to undertake joint evacuation of their citizens. Details of the plan have not been made public. However, it could involve a joint military plan.