American woman, daughter caught in middle of Sudan fighting as family calls for help to bring them home

Streaming HUBApril 25, 2023

Violence in Sudan’s capital continued on Tuesday as rival military factions competed for power, with civilians and some Americans caught in the crossfire.

Of the reported figures of some 14,000 Americans living in Sudan, Trillian Clifford and her 18-month-old daughter are currently taking refuge in their apartment in Khartoum amid a fierce military standoff that brings Sudan to the brink of another civil war.

Clifford and his daughter, Alma, of Ashland, Massachusetts, have been trapped for 10 days. Clifford is a preschool teacher and has been teaching abroad for a decade, living in Cairo and Mumbai. This was his first year teaching in Sudan.

As fighting intensifies in Khartoum and across the country, basic necessities such as food, water and fuel are running out fast.

President Biden calls civil war in Sudan ‘unconscionable’ as US embassy staff evacuate

American teacher in Sudan

Trillian Clifford and her daughter are trapped in Sudan as the fighting continues. (Photo Credits: Rebecca Winter, Jack Kirik and Trillian Clifford)

“Trillian is extremely grateful to a security guard who, on the first night of Eid al-Fitr, risked his life to deliver food and water to teachers living in his building. When more will be available to him, Trillian’s sister-in-law, Rebecca Winter, told Fox News Digital in a statement.

Rebecca and her family were able to keep in touch with Trillian via texting and occasionally on FaceTime when internet service was stable. Internet and cell service are currently suspended across Sudan as fear and uncertainty mount.

“We’re terrified of him,” said Winter.

The US began evacuating diplomatic staff from its embassy in Khartoum and temporarily suspended operations, but diplomatic and consular work continues in the country. The US also does not have precise control over the number of Americans trapped inside the country.

“We don’t have a good fix on the number of Americans who are out there at any given time, including — right now. We know for sure, the number of Americans who have registered with us, and with whom we have a lot In active contact. And of those, I would say a few dozen have expressed an interest in leaving,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a news conference on Tuesday.

By Tuesday afternoon Blinken said both sides in the conflict had agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire, which is expected to allow further evacuation of foreign nationals stuck in the African nation.

Blinken says Sudanese rivals agree to 72-hour ceasefire, US moves Navy ships to aid evacuation

Clifford is trapped in his apartment as gunfire and explosions echo throughout the city.

In an emailed voice memo to WBUR in Boston, Clifford said, “So I’m here with my 18-month-old daughter, and we’re in a relatively safe place. Although I must add, as a caveat, that it sounds like Nowhere in the city is particularly safe. We’re hearing a lot of gunfire and explosions. Of course planes have been flying nonstop all day. And we’re taking orders from there [U.S.] The embassy – and our employers too – take it very seriously to stay down on the ground, stay away from windows as much as possible and stay hidden, because this is a very dangerous situation to be in,” WBUR reported.

Fierce urban fighting has crippled Khartoum, a city of about 6 million people. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 420 people have been killed and more than 3,700 injured since the conflict began.

Sudan is fighting

Smoke rises during clashes in Khartoum, Sudan, on April 20, 2023. (Stringer/Andolu Agency Via Getty Images)

State Department issues travel advisory for Sudan amid armed conflict

“The current fighting leaves Sudanese citizens and civilians as victims in a fight between two armed leaders. This war has for the time being derailed hopes of a return to civilian, democratic government and a focus on matters of survival. has been forced to do,” Susan Stigant, director of the Africa program at the US Institute of Peace, told Fox News Digital.

On 15 April, clashes broke out in Khartoum between Sudanese armed forces led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the leader of the paramilitary force known as the Rapid Support Force (RSF), General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, widely known as “Hemedati”. is referred to as. , The RSF grew out of pro-government Arab militias known as the Janjaweed who committed widespread atrocities and human rights violations in Sudan’s Darfur region in the early 2000s.

Death toll in Sudan conflict

The death toll in the ongoing conflict between Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Force is rising. (Mahmoud Hajaj / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images))

The two had been in an uneasy alliance since the overthrow of Sudan’s longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir, who had ruled the country since 1989. Together, the generals ruled the country with civilian groups largely influential in the protest movement that helped fuel the coup. Bashir. Following Bashir’s removal, it seemed likely that Burhan and Hemedti would commit to a civilian-led government in Khartoum.

Burhan, supported by his deputy Hemedti, staged a coup and dissolved the civilian-military power-sharing government in October 2021, ending the transition to civilian democratic rule.

Recent tensions center on the timetable and process by which Hemedti’s RSF will be integrated into the regular Sudanese armed forces in 2021 as part of a deal to end the political impasse brought on by the coup. Burhan wanted a deadline of two years to integrate. RSF while Hemedti wanted a time period of 10 years. The command structure of the armed forces was another point of contention. The ultimate goal was to have a unified army, with Hemedti under the command of Burhan.

American woman and child in Sudan

Trillian Clifford and Betty are caught up in the fighting in Sudan. (Photo Credits: Rebecca Winter, Jack Kirik and Trillian Clifford)

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The United States and other governments have called for an immediate end to hostilities, but Burhan and Hemedti have shown no sign of backing down.

“The timing also indicates that Burhan and Hemedit had lost faith in the political process and calculated that violence was the best way to achieve their respective objectives,” Stigent said.

One of the major issues that led to the October 2021 coup was the threat that the civilian government could pose to some business interests. Burhan and the armed forces control a large part of Sudan’s economy and its protection networks are extensive. Hemedti also controls a vast patron network, including the gold mining industry, and has been able to enrich himself and his supporters.

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