Log in
A+ A A-

Sudan: Hostilities continue - Anxiety for the trapped Greeks

Featured Sudan: Hostilities continue - Anxiety for the trapped Greeks

Fighting is raging in Sudan, with the army carrying out airstrikes even in districts of Khartoum, in an attempt to wipe out paramilitary troops of the elite "Rapid Reaction Force" who tried to seize the Presidential Palace as well as the capital's international airport.

In the fighting between the army and paramilitary forces, about 200 people have lost their lives and 1,800 have been injured, while hospitals have been destroyed.

At the same time, the anxiety is peaking for the 15 Orthodox - Greeks and two children among them - who remain trapped in the metropolitan Church of the Annunciation. The supplies are enough for a few more days while the fighting escalates.

The international community is calling for de-escalation, but neither side seems ready to lay down their arms.

Blinken talks with the warring sides

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who is visiting Japan, held separate talks today with the two rival generals embroiled in Sudan's bloody power struggle and insisted there was "an urgency to declare a ceasefire".

The ceasefire "would allow humanitarian aid to be distributed to people affected by the fighting, Sudanese families to be reunited and guarantees for the safety of members of the international community in Khartoum", Mr Blinken told his interlocutors, according to with a press release issued by the representative of the American Foreign Ministry, Vedant Patel.

Unprecedented battles

The weeks-long power struggle between the forces of two generals who seized power in a 2021 coup - Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF)- erupted in deadly violence on Saturday

Analysts say the fighting in Khartoum, the capital of the chronically volatile country, is unprecedented and could drag on, despite international calls for a ceasefire. Battles are taking place across the vast country.

Khartoum's 600,000 residents have been left without electricity and water, although the city is located at the confluence of the White and Blue Nile. Some foreigners tried to leave the city, but were blocked.

Videos of dozens of dead soldiers in just one base are circulating online. The head of the 100,000-strong paramilitary force, General Hamedi, speaking by phone to CNN, denied staging a coup and claimed regime chief General al-Burhan is the one who attacked first.

Hoping for a miracle

The two Greeks who were injured are out of danger, however they have not yet been operated on as due to the hostilities the necessary medical equipment is in short supply.

The Metropolitan of Nubia and all Sudan, Savvas, gave a dramatic description with a unique, as he told Greek state broacaster ERT, hope for a miracle: "They use heavy weaponry. We use the generator one hour a day. There is no electricity, there is no water, the situation is difficult. We are waiting and hoping for a miracle."

"We are at the center of the controversy," he told Greece's MEGA channel.

"Today (i.e. yesterday) heavy weaponry was used as a government official informed us, in the evening it will be a very difficult night because they intend for the army to carry out a general purge, so there will be raids with both helicopters and airplanes. We were told to find a safe place. We cannot find a safe place where we are because we are in the center of Khartoum and all the government buildings are around," he added.

Alexandra Calumeti, who is among the trapped Greeks along with her sister, is afraid because, as she said, gunshots are constantly being heard.

The young dentist appealed through MEGA for help from the Greek government, while she did not hide her anxiety for her mother who is also trapped in her home, in the center of Khartoum.

"To be interested in what is happening, the lives of the Greeks here in the Metropolis are in danger. If they can do something, they should see what they can offer us. We constantly live in terror, fear, they should put themselves in our place and see what they can do," he said initially.

"Our psychology is bad, the situation is bad, there is no progress, no progress, everything is bad. I wish you good strength, hoping everything goes well. I hope everything goes well, and pray," she added.

In fact, the trapped Greeks are looking for any possible way to a leave the country since as time passes supplies are running low, while there is no water and electricity.