My rescue from Sudan: A woman from Munich exclusively on anxious days in the battlefield

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  • Created: By: Kristina Beck CommentsRauchwolken über Sudans Hauptstadt Karthum zu sehen.

    Clouds of smoke can be seen from the roof of the house over Sudan’s capital Karthum. © private Battles in Sudan: Pasingerin was stuck for over a week. In Hello she describes her experiences between explosions, generous hotel managers and the German army.

    desert, sea, camels, Temple: For Carola Wiegand from Pasing, it was a dream holiday with a German tour group in Sudan. One day before the planned flight home, there is a sudden turning point at a bridge over the Nile: a tank is blocking the road.

    The tour group suddenly finds itself in a theater of war and is ultimately stuck for a week. “It was scary. Like in the movies,” reports the 67-year-old when talking to Hallo

    Rauchwolken über Sudans Hauptstadt Karthum zu sehen.
    For Carola Wiegand, it was initially a dream holiday in Sudan. Because of the conflict, she was stuck in the war zone for over a week. © private
    It is Saturday, April 15th, and in Sudan’s capital Khartoum, the conflict between the military and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF) escalates when Wiegand and her tour group are on their way to a camel market. It’s the last day of their two-week and eventful vacation trip. Actually.

    Unreal and scary: a woman from Munich reports about Experiences in the war zone in Sudan

    “It will shot”, the bus driver hears his daughter calling into the phone. Pass away group has to go back to the hotel. Carola Wiegand, one of the tour participants from Pasing, reports on hurrying people and running dealers. “Empty buses came toward us. As if they wanted to save their buses,” she says. It was like in the film: unreal and scary. Because the flight connection to Germany was canceled, they will stay in the small hotel in the center of the Sudanese capital from this Saturday. There is electricity, food, water and also Internet. For four days the hotel guests will mainly stay in the conference room upstairs Floor up. This is safe, stable and big and you can’t shoot directly in.

    The war is still omnipresent: shots and detonations can be heard, explosions rattle the window. “Then we rushed into the conference room because we were afraid that someone would come in or shoot through.” The hotel staff is also increasingly reduced because the employees are gradually staying at home.

    Tuesday, Day 4 of the fighting: A first hope of a possible truce comes up. However, this does not last long. From the German embassy, ​​with which they are in contact, the travelers learn: An evacuation will not take place.

    “Paradise” in War zone: hotel manager invites tour group to his home

    Because the fighting is becoming increasingly fierce and the hotel manager fears that the fighters could occupy the hotel as quarters, he invites the tour group to his home.Fear and discussions dominate the mood for the next few hours, but eventually take hold She accepts the invitation: “We had no other choice.”

    It begins part 2 of the wait, which turns out to be “paradise”. “Fear-obsessed” they start the next day on the journey. After almost two hours, the new world then appears to them, which should be their home for the next few days, their “fairy tale”. Grotesquely, Wiegand finds the contradiction that will determine their lives in the next few days. The family of the hotel manager is wealthy, the house is sumptuously furnished and even has its own “house zoo” with four cats, a dovecote and two gazelles behind the house.

    Everyday rituals accompany the group: breakfast, nap in the morning, up on the roof, lunch, reading, making contact home and to the German Embassy. “So the days went by with anxious waiting.” Always important: check your cell phone, power bank and the latest news.

    However, in “paradise” the war seems far away. The district is quiet, no shots or detonations can be heard, only clouds of smoke can be seen from the roof of the house. In between there are unforgettable get-togethers with the family, when the Germans are invited to cake and to watch television together.

    The Champions League match between Bayern Munich and Manchester City is on. “The gentlemen got along well.” The father and the eldest son speak English. In Sudan, Arabic and English are the official languages, and a large number of other languages ​​are also spoken.

    Constant contact with the German embassy: “You will not forget” Carola Wiegand im Sudan mit einem Kamel. The whole time the group keeps in touch with the German embassy. Male should keep calm and be patient. Carola Wiegand says the authorities were trying to evacuate: “You will not forget,” she quotes the German Embassy.

    The situation does not leave the strong woman untouched either. “Everyone had their moments when you were close to tears.” During a phone call with her husband, it “got loose”. To protect him, she faked bad cell phone reception. In the end, she had to: “Slow down and carry on.”

    Khartoum is actually a “magic word” for the people of Munich: Even as a little girl, Carola Wiegand dreamed of this distant country in north-eastern Africa back in the 1960s. Her Great uncle worked as a meteorologist in the capital Khartoum and showed her pictures of the land between desert and sea.

    Decades later, this fascination brought the 67-year-old from Pasing to North Africa, where she wanted to go on a two-week tour with a nine-person German tour group, consisting of four women and five men between the ages of 35 and 81. Twelve days by jeep to temples, black pharaohs and pyramids through the scorching heat, where “green is a rarity,” describes Carola Wiegand. Until the war catches up with them.

     Carola Wiegand im Sudan mit einem Kamel. After more than a week in the war zone: Ceasefire allows departure

    Day 7, Friday, 6 p.m.: Hope is finally turning into reality: A unilateral ceasefire is announced, which will ultimately be observed by both sides from Saturday. Their evacuation will begin Sunday. From Khartoum, the tour group will be taken to a military airport by a driver organized by the hotel manager, a 1.5 hour drive. “A trip to freedom,” says the 67-year-old.

    Despite the traces of war, a burned-out one House, a few tanks, broken military vehicles “cannot be identified with the catastrophe”. Life seems to be returning to the streets. At 12:30 the minibus arrives at the military airport. It’s hot on the desert military compound, the sun is beating down from the sky, the tour group is standing outdoors.

    Upon request, she may go inside an air-conditioned building. About 200 people were gathered there, Wiegand estimates, from different European countries. But there are also Sudanese with connections to Germany. Seven hours later, at 7:30 p.m., the plane with 101 passengers finally takes off for Jordan. And suddenly a moment of shock: flashes of light outside. The captain intervenes: “We weren’t shot at.” Only the self-defense system was triggered. At 23 The plane lands at the military airport in Jordan, from where it goes directly to Berlin. After seeing the Greek islands, she fell asleep. Carola Wiegand im Sudan mit einem Kamel. Munich woman back home after more than a week in the war zone in Sudan

    On Monday at 6 a.m. local time, the Bundeswehr machine lands in Berlin, and Carola Wieland goes with it Wiegand joked that she took the shuttle to Berlin Central Station and then to her son and daughter-in-law who live in the capital, where breakfast, a shower and fresh clothes were all that was needed.The same day she traveled on to Munich , where she is received by her husband and son.


    On Tuesday evening, April 25th, the last Airbus A400 M landed for the time being Air Force in Jordan– another 78 people on board. This increased the number of evacuees to more than 700, including 200 Germans. Overall, the Bundeswehr has flown people from around 30 nations out of Sudan.

    Source: Federal Government, as of: 26th of April

    How is she today? “I’m doing very well physically and mentally. I’m glad I’m back.” And so things continue as usual with the former doctor for internal medicine. As quickly as every Thursday, she can be seen in the Schwabing Marionette Theater “Kleines Spiel” as a puppet leader and speaker. With the Hello Munich-Newsletter informed daily after work about the most important stories from the Isar metropolis.


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