Jose Tenga has worked in conflict zones in five African countries and now calls Calgary home, but still has friends in Sudan from when he lived in Khartoum.
“It’s very distressing. These guys are worried about the way the fighting is spreading throughout the city. You cannot say there is a safe zone. The fighting has spread to such an extent that it’s really dangerous to move around Khartoum,” Tenga said.
Tenga said his two friends have been telling him how hard it is to get food and how there is no law enforcement. From his previous work on United Nations missions, Tenga knows that leads to chaos and retribution.
“There’s violence in the streets and there is lawlessness now. There is no law and order,” said Tenga, who is originally from Sierra Leone.
‘This is war’: Cochrane man stranded in Khartoum as explosions, gunfire rage through Sudan’s capital
Tenga has over three decades of professional and field experience that includes multiple missions in conflict areas working with UNICEF, CANADEM and CAUSE Canada.
He said people who have the means are sending their families out of Sudan. His friends only come out of their homes to try to get food.
“You hunker down. It’s a fight for survival now. You try to get food for your family,” Tenga said.
An email Global News received from a Canadian teacher trying to get out of Khartoum states that she is now on a packed bus aiming to reach Egypt.
Canada temporarily suspends Sudan embassy operations amid evacuation race
A Canadian teacher who has been living and teaching in Khartoum has been racing to get out of the country.
“We are at the moment on the bus, which was provided by my school. We would try to reach (the) Egypt border. No one has internet, we have very little data. The bus is super packed, some of my colleagues are sitting on the floor. It’s definitely going to be a long and dangerous journey, but at least we clearly understand the message of our government, knowing that we are on our own. Sorry, but it would be impossible that any of us are talking to you now,” reads an email from Vesna Vukovic.
Canadians in Sudan are being told that air evacuations are not possible this time, with airports and the airspace closed.
Tenga says he’s surprised that Canadians have not been evacuated.
“What are they hoping for? That the soldiers will stop fighting? That’s not going to happen,” he said.
Global Affairs said Canada is coordinating with other countries to respond to the crisis.
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.