Ibenge describes the distraught experience in Sudan with his Daughter

Florent Ibenge. (courtesy)

FOOTBALL Ibenge describes the distraught experience in Sudan with his Daughter

Peter Tabu 07:46 - 30.04.2023

Ibenge is the head coach at Sudanese giants Al Hilal and was one of the foreigners who were safely evacuated out of the country, which has political tensions growing by the day.

Florent Ibenge, one of Africa’s top coaches, will live to forget a harrowing experience with his 14-year-old Daughter in the war-ravaged Sudan where he is coaching.

Ibenge is the head coach at Sudanese giants Al Hilal and was one of the foreigners who were safely evacuated out of the country, which has political tensions growing by the day.

The 61-year-old, whose home was right in the middle of where the conflict began in the Sudanese capital Khartoum lived between the presidential palace and the airport.

“We could hear gunfire; I was in disbelief,” Ibenge told the BBC.

He was stuck and soon realised he couldn’t reach his 14-year-old Daughter, who had left the house early on Saturday morning to go swimming with her school club.

“She is training, in a hotel one minute away from the airport and from my house, I could see the air force shooting towards the airport.”

“It was horrible because you can’t move to get your daughter,” Ibenge added.

They would not be reunited for a whole week; as a French citizen, Ibenge got help from France’s embassy, and he and his family were part of the first convoy out of Sudan.

After being flown out of Sudan, the family spent two days in a military base in Djibouti before landing in Paris on Wednesday. Despite the relief, Ibenge is not happy.

“We’re still worried about all the people we left behind, starting with my players and all the Sudanese people who are very nice people”, the coach said.

All the non-Sudanese people who played for the club have managed to leave and are now at the Egyptian border waiting for visas.

Sudan is experiencing intense clashes between Sudan’s military and the country’s main paramilitary force, which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people and sent thousands fleeing for dear life.

Tags: