War in Sudan: The Tragic Story of the Doctor Who Stayed to Help and Was ‘Killed for Nothing’

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Bound to Sudan by sick parents and his devotion to caring for the local poor, American physician Bushra Ibnauf Sulieman continued to work as long as possible after fighting engulfed the capital, Khartoum.

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Days after fighting erupted between two rival Sudanese commanders in Khartoum on April 15, Sulieman, 49, trhe tied up the wounded of the city. He and other medics ventured outside as blasts rocked the walls of houses where Khartoum people were hiding. Gunfire between the two factions battling for control echoed through the streets.

“To say: “Nothing will happen to us except what God has decreed for us”Sulieman, a US-born gastroenterologist who splits his time and work between Iowa City and Khartoum, said in one of his latest messages to concerned friends on Facebook last week as the riots raged. “It is in God that believers put their trust.”

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The morning Sulieman decided to risk a dangerous escape from the Sudanese capital with his parents, his American wife, and their two American children it was the morning the war found Sulieman, his friends say.

Shot to death in front of his family

In the widespread looting that accompanied the fighting in the capital Khartoum, a city of 5 million, a wandering band of strangers surrounded him in his backyard on Tuesday and she stabbed him to death in front of his family. Friends suspect the motive was a robbery. He became one of two confirmed Americans killed in Sudan in the fighting, both with dual nationality.

Authorities say the other, with ties to Denver, got caught in the crossfire. They didn’t release that American’s name.

Mohamed Eisa, a Sudanese physician practicing in the Pittsburgh area, was a close associate of Sulieman. Over the years, “I would sometimes ask him, ‘Bushra, what are you doing here? What are you doing in Sudan?” Eisa recalled.

A thick black cloud covers northern Khartoum, Sudan.  Photo: Reuters

A thick black cloud covers northern Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Reuters

“He always says to me: ‘Mohamed, listen, yes, I like living in the United States … but the US health system is very strong’ and one more or less doctor doesn’t make a difference.”

Eisa said Sulieman reportedly told her, “In Sudan, everything I do it has a huge impact on so many livesso many students and so many medical professionals.”

The sudden illness and death of Eisa’s father in Khartoum meant Eisa was in Sudan when fighting broke out. Now seeking to return to his American wife and children in the United States, Eisa spoke late last week from Port Sudan, a Red Sea city now teeming with Sudanese and foreigners who made the perilous 500-mile journey (800 kilometers) from the capital in the hope of securing seats on boats leaving Sudan.

Eisa described a journey through checkpoints manned by armed menbodies lying in the street and vehicles carrying other dead families trying to escape.

After evacuating all US diplomats and other government personnel on April 22, Washington carried out its first evacuation of US citizens on Saturday. It used armed drones to escort buses carrying between 200 and 300 US citizens, permanent residents and others to Port Sudan.

a special loss

Sudanese at home and in the United States spoke of Sulieman’s murder as a special loss.

He was a well-respected fellow at Mercy Hospital and the Gastroenterology Clinic in Iowa City, said hospital president Tom Clancy. Sulieman’s eldest sons They live in Iowa.

A Sudanese family on the terrace of their house.  They couldn't escape.  Photo: Reuters

A Sudanese family on the terrace of their house. They couldn’t escape. Photo: Reuters

He returned to Sudan several times a year with medical supplies he had collected for that country, his colleagues said.

He was called by a nurse at the Iowa City clinic who refused to be identified because she was not authorized to speak one of the best. “Her love for her patients was over the top,” the nurse said. His colleagues regarded him as a powerful physician and humanitarian, an optimistic man with an infectious laugh who populated his lyrics with smiling faces and cats in sunglasses.

In Sudan, Sulieman headed the medical faculty of Khartoum University and was the founder and director of a medical humanitarian group, the Sudanese American Medical Association.

It would help organize and bring medicines and supplies to rural Sudan, organize rural training for midwives, and help bring in cardiologists to perform surgeries for free.

the day of his death

Concern about keeping his father from needed dialysis had kept Sulieman from leaving Khartoum, colleagues said.

She decided on Tuesday that she was going to take her father to dialysis and then allegedly tried to flee Khartoum with his family, he told his friends.

man’s bandIt surrounded him before he could leave. They stuck a knife in his chest. His fellow doctors at Soba Hospital in Khartoum, where he had worked, they could not save him.

In Washington, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby expressed his “deepest condolences” to Sulieman’s family.

“Not at all. Not at all,” said Eisa, his colleague in Sudan, about Sulieman’s murder, before finally finding passage over the weekend on a ship leaving Sudan.

“Do you know who you killed?” another Sudanese colleague, Hisham Omar, posted among the Facebook tributes of the country’s health workers, a direct message to attackers Suleiman was killed.

“You have killed thousands of patients,” that colleague wrote, speaking of the impact Sulieman, a doctor, knew he had on Sudan and all the Sudanese he would help for years to come. “You have killed thousands of needy people. You killed thousands of his students.”

Associated press

Source: Clarin

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