Metropolitan Savvas of Nubia and all Sudan spoke to ERT about the days of agony spent trapped in the building of the Metropolis in Khartoum and the dramatic hours until their release from Sudan, which is troubled by the violent, civil conflict, which revealed that both he and the rest were smuggled out of the country with the help of a senior Muslim cleric.
“We are safe. Thank God, we are slowly realizing it,” he said, from Frankfurt to Germany where he has been transported on one of the flights to evacuate foreign nationals from the African country.
With the assistance of the Greek Consulate that has taken care of the repatriation of all Greeks who escaped with him, the Metropolitan of Nubia stated that he expects his repatriation to Greece in the near future. The Hierarch, who had spoken to ERT about the siege experienced for days inside the church building by armed men, stressed that for their escape they had the help of a senior Muslim cleric and, as he said, contacts had been made with members of the paramilitaries who were outside the church.
There are people left there who can’t escape
Metropolitan of Nubia and All Sudan had remained, along with other Christians, trapped from Holy Saturday until two days ago in Khartoum, the epicenter of the clashes. Asked about the situation in the area where a total of fifteen people had fled during these days, he said: “We were trying to keep them as calm as possible. There was no panic.”
Regarding the situation on the streets of the capital of Khartoum, he said that “there was nothing out on the streets. Only army, bullets, and bombs.” And as he said, the situation they experienced was surprising even though tensions in Sudan have existed for the last three years.
Referring to the Greek Orthodox community of Khartoum Metropolitan Nubia said that apart from all those who have so far crossed the country’s borders, in the center of the capital “people who cannot escape are left behind.” Aware of the real situation in the African country, which has killed dozens of people in recent days, he said the ceasefires announced were only on paper.
So far, 50 Greek nationals have left Sudan. The calculations made for the remaining Greeks living in Sudan are that their number may reach 80. All have taken care to hide in a shelter or in their homes, while the Greek authorities are difficult to locate.