Metema, Ethiopia, May 15: Seven years ago, Salam Kanhoush fled the conflict in Syria and found refuge in Sudan. But the fighting that broke out in Khartoum last month has once again forced him into exile.
The 30-year-old student is stranded in Metema, a border town in northwestern Ethiopia, joining thousands of people fleeing clashes between the Sudanese army and paramilitary forces.
He had “started a new life”, he said, and had just moved to Khartoum from Kassala in eastern Sudan when the fighting erupted.
April 15 began like any other day, he said, recounting plans to go kayaking on the Nile with friends.
But he soon began receiving messages urging him not to leave his house.
He spent over a week holed up in his home, including a few days with no electricity or water supply, before finally managing to leave Sudan’s capital, carrying only a backpack.
“I left a lot of things behind, it was really hard to take the decision to leave Khartoum because… I had to leave a lot of memories,” he told AFP.
His graduation project remains unfinished and his passport stuck at the Syrian embassy in Khartoum where it was in the process of being renewed.
He cannot leave Metema without travel documents and “going back to Syria is not an option”.
“What I have is everything I have.”