An 85-year-old British citizen was shot dead by a sniper and his wife starved to death after being left behind in Sudan, their families said.
Abdalla Sholgami owns a hotel in London where he and his 80-year-old disabled wife Alaweya Rishwan live close to the British diplomatic base in Khartoum, the BBC said.
Instead of being offered support to leave Sudan, Sholgami was reportedly told to head to an airport 25 miles (40 kilometers) outside Khartoum, cross the war zone, and board an evacuation flight.
Facing hunger and no water, Sholgami was forced to leave his wife to seek help. During his absence, he was shot three times by the sniper – in the hands, chest and waist. He survived after being taken to his family in another part of Khartoum.
Sholgami’s wife had to fend for herself and it was impossible for them to find her in the area surrounded by snipers, the family said. As a result she starved to death.
Sholgami’s granddaughter Azhaar, who grew up in Khartoum, said the embassy was “up to four steps away” from her grandparents’ house.
“What happened to my grandparents was a crime against humanity, not just the RSF, not just the [Sudanese army], but the British embassy because they are the only ones who can stop this from happening to my grandparents. “
Sholgami managed to escape to Egypt, where he is being treated in Khartoum after undergoing surgery without anesthesia by the doctor’s son.
The Foreign Office told the BBC the case was “very sad”.
“The ongoing military conflict means Sudan remains dangerous. The UK is taking a leading role in diplomatic efforts to ensure peace in Sudan,” a spokesman said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the capacity to provide consular assistance is extremely limited and cannot provide in-person support in Sudan.
The British government has evacuated more than 2,300 people from Sudan on 28 flights since April. The fighting began on April 15 after months of escalating tensions between the army led by General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces commanded by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.
The Guardian has contacted the Foreign Office for comment.