‘Don’t know if I’ll be alive till then’
It was raining bullets for most of two days near the shop in Khartoum where Monowar Hossain works. He was stuck inside the shop for three days.
Then there was a 10-minute calm before the 72-hour ceasefire was announced around midnight on Monday.
Monowar and along with four others had to take advantage of the lull and get out of the area or else risk getting stuck there again.
They went to a building around two hours away on foot as there were no vehicles around.
Speaking to The Daily Star over phone yesterday, the Bangladeshi expatriate said they have been stuck in the building for three days. The fighting intensified over the previous day and a half.
The 39-year-old went to Sudan in June last year to work in a tailor's shop.
"Soon after the fighting broke out, the country became lawless. Stealing, killing, and extortion are rampant. Even food was snatched away. There are no people on the streets. All shops are closed," he said.
Monowar said he wanted to return to Bangladesh. "Don't know whether I can return home alive?"
Twenty-four-year-old Md Rasel Mia, who was with Monowar, went to Sudan in August of 2015. He hasn't been back home since.
"I was planning to go to Bangladesh but now I fear for my life," he said.
Rasel said more than 1,000 Bangladeshis live in Khartoum and all are at risk.
Most Bangladeshis living in the Sudani capital work in tailor shops and polythene factories. "Our shop was in a risky area and during the ceasefire, we moved to this place. But this is not safe either."
Hailing from Narayanganj, Rasel said the ceasefire was not holding as gunfire continued and people are moving to safer places. "But it seems that there is no safe place in the country right now."
Rasel said that the Bangladeshi embassy was working to bring them back to Bangladesh and possibly they will be taken to a safer place on April 30.
"I don't know whether I will be alive till then."
Sultan Danesh Ali, president of the Bangladesh Community in Sudan, said the situation in Khartoum is deteriorating day by day.
On Wednesday, armed men stormed a building in a Khartoum neighbourhood where 50 Bangladeshis were staying. They took their money, food, and mobile phones, he said.
Bangladeshis are running out of money and food.
Whenever Bangladeshis are getting out on the streets, they are getting mugged. There were cases in which the muggers took the shirts the victims were wearing, he said.