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Sudan War: Visa Officials Exploit Nigerian Students At Ethiopian Border

Weeks after intense fight broke out between factions led by 2 Army Generals in Sudan, thousands of Nigerian students trapped in the war torn country have continued to cry for help.

Government forces and fighters of the Rapid Support Forces have spent the last one week exchanging fire, a situation that left many civilians in a dire situation and severe hardship.

Among the distressed civilians were Nigerian students in the country who had called on the Nigerian government to come to their rescue and return them home.

A report by the BBC Hausa Service monitored by our correspondent on Sunday, indicated that the Nigerian students were completely stranded in the country .

A female Nigerian student in Sudan, Fauziya Idris Safiyo who fled Khartoum and reached Gallaba, a border town between Sudan and Ethiopia, lamented that the situation was unbecoming.

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”We’ve been hearing gun shots from ground and air, bombs were exploding and fighter jets were attacking. There was no food, no water, no medicine. We can’t travel. No money. Miscreants were having a field day,” she said.

Fauziya said nationales of many countries were being evacuated from Sudan, but there was no such attempt for the Nigerians.

“We , Nigerians were the only ones left. There were many females among us .Officials of neighbouring countries like Ethiopia were not allowing Nigerians to cross over to their country unless we have visa,” she alleged.

She said after telling her father the situation they found themselves, coupled with the fact that her sister was ill, her father suggested they flee the country.

She said they sneaked out at about 3 am and took a bus in which they travelled for about 12 hours before they arrived the border town with Ethiopia .

”It was a harrowing and terrifying experience. What we saw on the. way was frightening. We saw lots of soldiers, they stopped us at several checkpoints. Ethiopian officials asked for $50 before they give would give us visa .They were only allowing Sudanese nationales. We called our Nigerian Ambassador and he sent a letter. They did not recognise or honour the letter. They were uncooperative because of the precarious situation we found ourselves,” she said.

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Leader of Nigerian students in Sudan, Muhammadu Nura Bello who studied at the Sudan International University, said there was total blackout and even the Sudan nationales were running away.

”Students are worried because they’ve run out of food supplies. The Sudan people are running away,” he said.

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He said although the Nigerian Embassy in Sudan was making efforts to see that they were evacuated; such was yet to be feasible .

He said the situation had made the Nigerian students in Sudan felt bad and dejected; even as other countries like Kenya, Somalia; etc, have since evacuated their students.


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