Hopes dashed for Sudanese businessman in Malaysia

The civil aviation authority of Sudan on April 22 announced the closure of its airspace until April 30. Photo of Khartoum International Airport courtesy of KRT Facebook.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 – The Covid-19 pandemic period was a gloomy period for Sudanese businessman, Rahman (not his real name), who had been in Malaysia for more than 15 years conducting training sessions for fellow Sudanese in Malaysia in various areas including the oil and gas sector.

His business went down, his office had to be closed as there were no one coming from Sudan for training and he had to return to Khartoum at the end of the pandemic period to be with his father while his family had to stay back as two of his children were studying in an international school here.

However, nothing had prepared him for the latest struggle due to the ongoing armed conflict in Sudan, where more than 400 lives have already been lost.

As his efforts to counter the financial constraints from the pandemic took him back to Sudan to work things out and finally back to Malaysia as things were beginning to be hopeful again for him to restart his training business, the inevitable happened – the outbreak of an armed conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Force (RSF) that had been in the brew for a while.

Speaking to Weekly Echo recently, Rahman said he was preparing to welcome two delegates from an oil refinery company in Khartoum for training here but the plans have been dashed for now.

“I seemed to have left the country in the nick of time as I had to leave earlier to prepare for the training. But the two delegates are now stranded in Khartoum as the airport was closed and nobody can really move about with the fights going on. All are staying within the safety of their homes.

“The people are suffering, as there has been no electricity for the past one week. The supermarket shelves are empty and people can’t really go out to buy anything due to the dangerous situation.

“This should not be happening after the Covid-19 pandemic. The fight should must end soon as the civilians are suffering and there is too much to be lost economic wise. It is all the more ironical considering that Sudan is known for its rich gold reserves but the people are suffering,” Rahman said.

Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry has been monitoring the situation in Sudan since the conflict began. Malaysian National News Agency, BERNAMA reported Foreign Minister Dr.Zambry Abd Kadir saying that Malaysia is in the midst of bringing back 30 Malaysians back home from the country, where a ceasefire has been ignored and heavy fighting has been continuing.

On Friday, BERNAMA reported that Wisma Putra had flown back two Malaysian officers, under a very difficult situation. They had been earlier evacuated from another place to Khartoum. During the operation, undertaken by the Malaysian embassy there, two Canadians, one American and two British officers were also brought to a safer place.

— WE