CAIRO, Egypt – A Grand Island man died Monday in a shooting in Sudan.
Armed men opened fire on a bus station in southern Sudan, officials said, killing at least four people and prompting authorities to declare a monthlong state of emergency.
One of the four victims was Ibrahim Gebeira of Grand Island. Gebeira was there with his wife, Nafisa Awad Toto, and son, Luis Ibrahim Kander, 3, visiting family. Officials in South Kordofan province said the attack in the provincial capital of Kadugli wounded at least four others.
Gebeira’s family has made Grand Island its home for several years and have sent their children through Grand Island Central Catholic and Grand Island Public Schools. Their daughter, Lucy Ghaifan, is a senior at Grand Island Central Catholic. Her older brother, Youhanna Ghaifan, graduated from GICC in 2015. There are three other children in the family.
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Two of Gebeira’s relatives were also killed in the shooting, but their identities are unknown right now.
“We’re deeply saddened with the tragic passing of three relatives of GICC student Lucy Ghaifan,” GICC Superintendent Jordan Engle said in a statement. “Our Crusader family expresses a deep level of love and concern for all those affected by this tragedy. We love and support all members of our student body, and will continue to offer our prayers and resources to Lucy and all in our school in need. We ask the community to join us in offering thoughts and prayers to the family at this time.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family. An account has also been opened at Five Points Bank in Grand Island. Donations will be used to get Nafisa and Luis back home as soon as possible as well as general support to help the family financially. As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, the GoFundMe account had raised almost $8,400; the goal is $10,000.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place as the victims were heading to areas controlled by a rebel group, known as the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, local Sudanese media reported.
Mousa Gaber Mahmoud, South Kordofan’s acting provincial governor, called the attack “unfortunate,” pledging that local authorities “will spare no effort to regain security and stability” in the province.
He said a state of emergency took effect Monday across the southern province on the border with South Sudan.
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu, controls large swaths of the province, including the Nuba mountains. It has been fighting the government in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum for decades.
A cease-fire was established between the military and the group following the removal of longtime strongman Omar al-Bashir in April 2019 amid a popular uprising against his three decades of repressive rule.
There were tensions between the two sides after a military coup removed a transitional government in October 2021, plunging the entire country into further chaos.
This story includes reporting from Grand Island Independent Editor Terri Hahn and the Associated Press.
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Publish date : 2023-01-25 02:41:00