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Two Greeks Injured in Sudan Rocket Crossfire

Sudan 2019
Sudanese troops pictured in 2019. Credit: Agence France-Presse / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Two Greeks have been seriously injured after being caught in the crossfire between a paramilitary group and the Sudanese military in the capital city of Khartoum, according to local reports.

The fighting in Sudan erupted on Saturday between army units loyal to the country’s de facto leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy leader of Sudan.

News that two Greek individuals had been injured by rocket fire in Sudan spread after the Metropolitan of Nubia Savvas spoke to ERT, the Greek national broadcasting agency, about the incident.

Greeks caught in Sudan crossfire

According to the Metropolitan of Nubia, armored vehicles surrounded a Greek Orthodox church where a service was taking place to mark the Resurrection of Christ. When the churchgoers dispersed to go home, two of them were hit by a rocket that landed in the area.

“Two Greeks came and informed us that we have to stop because outside the temple there are many tanks, a lot of army and the situation is dangerous,” said the Metropolitan.

“We shortened the operation, but we had an unpleasant event as these Greeks were leaving the church and heading home, because they live in the Greek community, a rocket fell next to them and injured them very seriously. They are in the hospital, we are waiting to see if they will be operated on or not,” he continued.

“They hit the Metropolis with bullets, there are Greek flags outside and this has never happened before. The situation is very bad, smoke is coming from everywhere. Apparently, they have hit ministries because around the Metropolis are the ministries of foreign affairs, interior, justice, and the palace. Apparently, they’re hitting the ministries from what I imagine because you can’t go out, it’s very dangerous.”

Further reports

Other members of the Greek community in Sudan have also commented on the ongoing events, as fighting continues in the capital and other parts of the country.

“Right now Khartoum is dangerous. A couple of days must pass, the situation should be calmed down so that some planes can land and, in conjunction with the EU which has supervision, some evacuation can be done if necessary,” said Gerasimos Pagoulatos, the honorary consul of Greece in Sudan.

Robert Fahimi, the vice president of the Hellenic Community in Sudan also spoke, saying that “There are many shots outside, bullets are heard. They are very difficult. Everyone is afraid, we don’t know what to do. We are trying to see if we can leave and if there is a way, but the airport is also closed.”

The situation in Sudan

The power struggle in Sudan appears to have been sparked by a proposed transition to civilian rule in the country. Military officers have headed Sudan’s government since a coup in October 2021 but there are plans to transition to a civilian government.

However, the proposed transition to a civilian-led government has faced obstacles due to a disagreement over the timeline for integrating the RSF into the national army. The RSF has pushed for a delay of 10 years, while the army has insisted on a two-year timeline.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the country’s president, and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the vice president are now locked in s struggle with one another for control of Sudan. The national army is supporting the president, whereas the RSF supports the vice president.

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