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Calgary's Sudanese community worries for family, friends as crisis unfolds

Nearly two weeks after the fighting started, Canada has completed two high-stakes rescue missions in Sudan.

Two Canadian Air Force flights carried out rescue missions, the first with 45 people on board and the second with 73.

"There is a need to place assets where the needs are the greatest and that's exactly what we're doing," said Anita Anand, Canada's minister of defence.

Calgary's Sudanese community has been closely watching since fighting broke out and feels helpless, trying to keep in touch with family and friends stuck in the country.

A power-sharing agreement between the generals in charge of Sudan's armed forces and paramilitary troops disintegrated.

Since then, at least 500 people have been killed and more than 4,200 have been injured.

Food and water are in short supply.

"The situation is very bad ... you have close or immediate family members who live there. You have to make sure they're okay and have what they need," said Abubaker Sidhamed, president of the Sudanese Social Club of Calgary.

"The communication sometimes … the network goes off and on and yeah, everyone is worried about the situation right now," said Mohamed Salih, Calgary Sudanese community leader.

It's unclear how many of the people on Canada's flights out are Canadian citizens.

Each flight has the capacity to airlift 100 people.

"Our goal is to make sure people have options when they decide to get to an airlift, (that) they can get to a safe third country," said Mélanie Joly, Canada's minister of foreign affairs.

The Calgary group says Canada can - and should - do more.

"We need Canada to play a major role by rallying the international community to stop this war, this civil war. No one will win out of this war," Sidhamed said.

A protest against the war is planned in Calgary for this Sunday.

It'll run from 1 to 3 p.m. at city hall. Top Stories

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