OFWs in Sudan fear for lives amid war


FILIPINO workers in Sudan are worried for their safety as air bombings and explosions that began Saturday—when warring military factions tried to wrestle power over the African state —continue.

Glen Lampa, a barista based in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum, said that they are now restricted inside their accommodation because of nonstop bombardment and armed fighting in the city.

“Puro pagsabog, wala nga ngayong kuryente eh. Nakakatakot [So many explosions, there’s no electricity; it’s scary],” Lampa told BusinessMirror.

At least 97 civilians have been killed and 365 injured since the fighting in Sudan started early on Saturday, wire reports quoted Sudan Doctors’ Syndicate as saying.

The clashes are part of a power struggle between the Army and another military faction who once orchestrated the October 2021 military coup.

Lampa said the security situation now is “far worse” than what he experienced during the 2021 coup.

He said he could feel the building where he is staying shake whenever there are airstrikes in the city.

“Ang problema walang mabilhan ng pagkain at tubig ngayon [The problem is there’s nowhere we can buy food and water now],” the 47-year old native of San Miguel, Bulacan said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs counted 209 Filipinos in Sudan, as of a June 2022 survey.

Lampa estimates there are fewer than 100 Filipinos in the capital of Khartoum. He knew some of them from his choir church group, who expressed the same fear and panic over their security.

There is no Philippine Embassy based in Sudan. The Philippine Embassy in Egypt has jurisdiction over Sudan. It has an honorary consulate which has been keeping in touch with the FIlipino community.

The Consulate told BusinessMirror that the conditions in Sudan “are very bad.”

“The Filipino community is all fine. They are communicating with each other, and we gave them the necessary guidance not to move from their homes completely (sic),” the Consulate said.

It also advised Filipinos not to stand on rooftops and near the windows.

“Their house should be completely closed,” it added.

The Embassy in Cairo, meanwhile, has issued an advisory to the Filipinos in Sudan to refrain from going outside their residences.

Filipinos are advised to get in touch with the Embassy or consulate at these numbers:

Philippine Embassy in Cairo WhatsApp/Mobile: (+20) 122 743 6472 Facebook/Messenger: PHinEgypt Email: cairo.pe@dfa.gov.ph

Philippine Consulate in Khartoum Telephone Number: (+249) 91 239 9448 Email: phil.cons@elnefeidigroup.comhttps://web.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=542210648096200&set=pcb.542211498096115

Lampa said there is no advice yet for Filipinos to evacuate Sudan. The airport is closed, anyway, and all flights to and from Sudan have been suspended.