Nottingham doctor fears for mother stuck in Sudan warzone

A doctor from Nottingham is desperately trying to get her mother out of Sudan as intense fighting in the country continues.

Dr Khansa Adam said Batoul Dawelbait had been unable to join an evacuation flight because her key documents were locked in a visa office in Khartoum.

The registrar, who works at the Queen’s Medical Centre, said she feared for her mother’s life.

The Home Office said it was unable to comment on individual cases.

Dr Adam said her mother, 70, had been cleared to come to the UK before the conflict began but had been unable to get her passport and visa from the office which closed indefinitely when the fighting started on 15 April.

She told the BBC she had heard gunshots during phone conversations with her mother.

She said: “She tries to reassure me and she says it (the fighting) is far (away) but it is clear it is not.

“I do hear bullets in the background.

“There was shrapnel flying and mum had a bullet going through her window.

“She is very depressed and scared.”

‘Worried to death’

Dr Adam said her mother had applied successfully to come to the UK before the civil war began but, without her passport and visa, she was stuck in Khartoum,

She added: “In my view, she is being held in a warzone against her will because she cannot get her documents.

“I do appreciate you cannot open a visa centre when fighting is raging the way it is in Sudan but she could have been evacuated. She still can be evacuated.”

Dr Adam said her mother had an email confirming her right to come to the UK which, she hoped, would be enough to allow her to get to a safe neighbouring country while onward travel was arranged.

She added: “I am angry and I am worried to death.”

Smoke drifting over Khartoum, April 2023

Khartoum remains gripped by violence

The current violence is a direct result of a power struggle within the country’s military leadership with government forces clashing with rival paramilitary groups.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed, thousands injured and it is thought more than a million people have been displaced.

There have been airstrikes and shelling in Khartoum.

Dr Adam said her mother’s home had been without power and water for a week and she did not have access to medication.

She added: “I have gone through loss – I lost my dad in 2019 – and the last thing I want is to go through this again when I don’t need to.”

She said she was doing all she could to get Mrs Dawelbait to the UK but wanted action from the government.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The UK has carried out by far the longest and largest evacuation of any Western country from Sudan, bringing 2,450 people to safety.

“It has always been the case that the evacuation has been open to British nationals and their eligible family members, with a later exemption for NHS clinicians.”

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