Sudanese refugee family stuck in Oxford hotel appeal for help

Rayan Bashir and his four children

Rayan Bashir and his four children are currently staying at an Oxford hotel

A mother who fled conflict in Sudan to the UK says she is in a ‘poor psychological state’ after being left in hotels for weeks.

Rayan Bashir was evacuated from the Wadi Sayyinda military base to London with her four children.

She says the family are struggling with an insufficient weekly food budget and have been left in a hotel in Oxford with one bedroom and no kitchen area.

Oxford City Council said it was “urgently” looking for alternative accommodation.

Fighting broke out in mid-April between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), causing many civilians to flee.

Ms Bashir said her husband, a British citizen, remains in Sudan, unable to escape due to militia blockades in his area.

Demonstration against the war in Sudan

The Sudanese community in Oxford joined a wider anti-war protest in London

The family arrived in the UK at the end of April and then came to Oxford on June 3 after learning there was a strong Sudanese community in the town.

But Ms Bashir says her children, who are all British citizens, often cry from hunger while her asthmatic daughter is unable to fully open the hotel windows to help her breathe.

“Isn’t it my children’s right as British citizens to have a home?” Ms Bashir said.

“The money I get is not enough to feed us for a week. When the children got sick, I took them to the GP and they didn’t check them.

“They didn’t take into account that we came from the war. We couldn’t move inside our house for fear of being hit by bullets and we used to sit under beds and table tops.”

Nazar Yousif, from the Sudanese organization in Oxford, said: “They have been abandoned by the system. If someone has just fled a war zone leaving their husband far away, you would expect him to there’s more support.”

A spokesperson for Oxford City Council said: ‘We are urgently looking for suitable, better-settled temporary accommodation that meets the needs of the family.

The Sudanese community in Oxford is among those criticizing the government’s response to the crisis.

With the British consulate in Khartoum closed and evacuation flights to the UK terminated, the government is currently encouraging evacuees traveling to Saudi Arabia and Egypt to contact the country’s embassies upon arrival.

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