Brit, 85, who lived beside UK embassy in Sudan was 'shot by snipers', family claims

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British citizen, 85, who lived beside UK embassy in Sudan was 'shot by snipers and his wife died of starvation after they were told to travel 25 miles through a warzone to board evacuation flight', family claims

By Laurence Dollimore

Published: 02:13 EDT, 26 May 2023 | Updated: 02:20 EDT, 26 May 2023

An 85-year-old British man was shot by snipers before his disabled wife died of starvation after being 'left behind' in conflict-ridden Sudan, their family has claimed.

Relatives of Abdalla Sholgami and his wife Alaweya Rishwan, 80, have accused the British embassy in Khartoum of not doing enough to rescue the couple, who lived 'a maximum four steps' away from the government building.

The family told the BBC that despite pleading for help, the elderly couple were told to travel 25 miles across a warzone to reach an evacuation flight. 

Their granddaughter Azhaar, who grew up in Khartoum, said: 'I was informed they had 100 troops who came and evacuated their staff. They could not cross the road? I'm still very disappointed in them.' 

The family said they contacted the UK Foreign Office hotline but claimed the Government has done nothing to support them since the last evacuation flight left earlier this month. 

Relatives of Abdalla Sholgami (left) and his wife Alaweya Rishwan (right), 80, have accused the British embassy in Khartoum of not doing enough to rescue the couple, who lived 'a maximum four steps' away from the government building. (Pictured centre: Mr Sholgami's granddaughter Azhaar) 

Mr Sholgami's granddaughter Azhaar (pictured with her grandmother), who grew up in Khartoum, said: 'I was informed they had 100 troops who came and evacuated their staff. They could not cross the road? I'm still very disappointed in them.'

Azhaar added: 'What happened to my grandparents was a crime against humanity, not only by the RSF, not only by the [Sudanese army], but by the British embassy, because they were the only ones that could have prevented this from happening to my grandparents.' 

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said the case was 'extremely sad', but that its ability to provide consular assistance is 'extremely limited' and it cannot provide in-person support in Sudan.

A statement to the BBC said: 'The ongoing military conflict means Sudan remains dangerous... the UK is taking a leading role in the diplomatic efforts to secure peace in Sudan.'

MailOnline has contacted the Foreign Office for comment.  

The family said while Mr Sholgami and his wife were faced with starvation, he was forced to leave to find help. 

It was then that he was shot three times by snipers, they said, meaning his wife was left alone inside the property, which was surrounded by the gunmen, where she died.

Mr Sholgami has since escaped Sudan to safety in Egypt, where he is receiving medical treatment. 

His injuries were initially operated on by his son, who is a doctor, without any anaesthetic. 

More than 2,300 people were evacuated by the UK Government from Sudan on 28 flights since fighting began in April.

More than 2,300 people were evacuated by the UK Government from Sudan on 28 flights since fighting began in April (Pictured: moke rises above buildings after an aerial bombardment, during clashes between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and the army in Khartoum North, Sudan, on May 1) 

The fighting between Sudan's military and a powerful paramilitary force has displaced more than 1.3 million people, the UN migration agency said on Wednesday.

The International Organisation for Migration said the clashes have forced more than one million people to leave their homes to safer areas inside Sudan.

About 320,000 others have fled to the neighbouring countries of Egypt, South Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia, the Central African Republic and Libya.

The fighting started on April 15 after months of escalating tensions between the military, led by General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces commanded by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

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