British doctor shot in leg while rescuing mother and daughter in Sudan

British doctor is shot in the leg while rescuing his mother and daughter in Sudan

  • The doctor was shot at by RSF forces as he was driving through Khartoum
  • He was hit in the thigh, and was still able to reach his mother and daughter

A British doctor was shot in the leg while trying to rescue his mother in Sudan as the country descended into chaos, his daughter has revealed.

The man, who recently retired having worked for the NHS for thee decades, was visiting his family in Khartoum to celebrate Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.

But fierce fighting between Sudan’s top two generals erupted in the city on April 15 – putting the large northeast-African country on the path to civil war.

Speaking to The Independent, the doctor’s daughter said his mother and another of his daughters had been without water for five days at his brother’s house close to the capital’s airport. He decided then that they needed to be taken to a safer place.

The first daughter – a British doctor based in London – told the newspaper that her father drove a Land Rover to the house at dusk on Thursday, but his car came under fire from ‘all directions’, and he was shot in the thigh.

A British doctor was shot in the leg while trying to rescue his mother in Sudan as the country descended into chaos, his daughter has revealed. Pictured: Smoke rises over Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, on Saturday

The woman, named as Dr A by The Independent in order to protect her family’s identity in Sudan, said: ‘They started shooting at the car first. My father kept going, but then he stopped because the shooting was coming from all directions.


‘When he got out he started to feel faint. He felt an intense heat on his leg, but because of his intense fear and adrenaline, he didn’t pay attention.’

She said Sudan’s paramilitary forces – the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) – shot at her father because he was driving the Land Rover – a make of car often used by the country’s national forces with whom RSF are now in open conflict with.

Dr A said her father eventually persuaded the RSF fighters that he was just a medic trying to rescue his family, and made it to his brother’s house.

However, when his second daughter – who is also a doctor – opened the door, she noticed blood on his clothes, Dr A said.

The father was brought inside and his wound was dressed, before they made the treacherous journey back to the home where his mother usually lives in the city.

Because of the danger involved in taking their injured father to a pharmacy or hospital, Dr A said her sister has been forced to treat him at home with leftover antibiotics.

‘He was shot in the thigh, so the wound is quite superficial. But the actual car has gunshots where the headrests and backrests are,’ Dr A told the newspaper.

The British-Sudanese dual national said had her father been in a different position in the car, ‘then he would be dead.’

Now, she says she is most concerned about her family’s dwindling food supplies, and their supply of medicine. They also do not have reliable running water, and an intermittent internet connection, making their situation even more challenging.

Dr A said that the UK government has done little to help her family and other British nationals trapped in the country as it descends into ‘chaos’.

She said she was able to speak to someone at the Foreign Office on Saturday – a week after the fighting broke out – but was told only to register her family’s names on a list of people who need to be evacuated from the embattled country.

The father, who recently retired having worked for the NHS for thee decades, was visiting his family in Khartoum to celebrate Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr. But fighting broke out on April 15, trapping him and his family in the country. Pictured: Sudanese army soldiers, loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, sit atop a tank in the Red Sea city of Port Sudan, on April 20

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said that Britain will begin evacuating British citizens trapped in Sudan today, after being accused of abandoning them.

Military flights will evacuate at least 2,000 British nationals with a UK passport from an airfield outside the capital of Khartoum as a three-day ceasefire came into effect.



However, because Dr A’s grandmother is not a dual citizen, this makes her family’s situation even more difficult because her father will not leave her behind, she said.

She slammed the government for not having a plan in place after Britain evacuated diplomats, but left ‘everyone else not knowing what happens next.’

‘We’ve been let down and abandoned by the British government. It’s very frustrating and makes you quite angry. If a country can’t protect its own citizens then who will?’

A government spokesperson told The Independent that it was ‘urgently exploring all routes’ for trapped British nationals to leave the country.  

Mr Cleverly said today that Foreign Office officials have started contacting British nationals trapped in Sudan directly about the ‘large-scale’ operation involving some 1,400 military personnel.

Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell said Monday that some 4,000 Britons with dual nationality and 400 with UK-only passports were in Sudan, while 2,000 people had registered with the ministry seeking help to get out. 

But on the ground, there are fears the government’s late decision to evacuate civilians – after choosing to only rescue diplomats – is ‘too little, too late’ for Britons due to how dangerous it is to travel through the various checkpoints to the airfield.

Mr Cleverly admitted that Britons will have to ‘make their own way’ across Khartoum – where the fighting has been fiercest – without any help from the government.

The Foreign Office said priority will be given to family groups with children, the elderly and individuals with medical conditions.

It said British nationals should not make their way to the airfield unless they are called, and warned the situation remained volatile, meaning the ability to conduct evacuations could change at short notice.

Sudan’s warring generals pledged Tuesday to observe a new three-day truce that was brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia in an attempt to pull Africa’s third-largest nation back from the abyss.

The claims were immediately undercut by the sound of heavy gunfire and explosions in the capital of Khartoum. Residents said warplanes were flying overhead.

Several previous cease-fires declared since the April 15 outbreak of fighting were not observed, although intermittent lulls during the weekend’s major Muslim holiday allowed for dramatic evacuations of hundreds of diplomats, aid workers and other foreigners by air and land.

For many Sudanese, the departure of foreigners and closure of embassies is a terrifying sign that international powers expect a worsening of the fighting that has already pushed the population into disaster.

The protagonists in the power struggle are General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (left), head of the army and leader of Sudan’s ruling council since 2019, and his deputy on the council, RSF leader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (right), commonly known as Hemedti

Many Sudanese have desperately sought ways to escape the chaos, fearing that the rival camps will escalate their all-out battle for power once evacuations are completed.

The fighting has pitted forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan against those of his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the RSF.

The RSF emerged from the Janjaweed militia that then-president Omar al-Bashir unleashed in the Darfur region two decades ago, leading to war crimes charges against Bashir and others.

More than 420 people, including at least 273 civilians, have been killed since fighting began on April 15, and a further 3,700 have been wounded.            

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