South Sudan flag on soldiers arm (l) Reddit app download screen on phone in front of green background (r)

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‘If I die’: Redditor draws comparisons to Anne Frank as she documents family’s struggles, attempt to flee Sudan Civil War

She penned what she worried might be her final post.

 

Claire Goforth

Tech

Late Tuesday night, a redditor shared her story of living in the midst of the Sudan Civil War. Currently trapped by soldiers, she said that she and her family are planning to flee their captors and wanted to write what could be her final thoughts on Reddit to preserve them.

Redditor PICKLENUTJUICE titled the post, “Probably gonna be my last post ever. But if I die…” The post includes her real name, Tarteil Omer Yagi, that she’s a 19-year-old medical student, and the harrowing details of her family’s recent days and their decision to attempt to escape.

Yagi’s bravery in the midst of such horrors is drawing comparisons to Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who chronicled herself hiding from the Nazis during the Holocaust and who later died in a concentration camp.

Yagi did not respond to a direct message seeking comment. The Daily Dot was unable to confirm the veracity of Yagi’s account. A review of her profile on Reddit shows that Yagi has been posting about the war since its earliest days, including photos and videos, and her account has remained consistent throughout.

Sudan exploded into civil war in April when two rival generals began fighting for control of the capital, Khartoum.

Yagi and her parents live near the airport in Khartoum. In the early days of the war, she was hopeful that it would end quickly.

In April, she mused that it would probably be over soon, as the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) had established the upper hand.

“The thing that strikes me the most is how people are saying that Hemedti wont back down,” she wrote.

General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, is one of Sudan’s richest men. He’s the head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) that is fighting the SAF.

Yagi ended the post by asking, “Do you believe the war will end soon? Or this is just the beginning?”

As the situation deteriorated, her hope for peace swiftly gave way to fear and desperation to flee to somewhere safe.

Yagi said her neighbor was killed in an explosion in April. They fled to a city nearby, but returned after finding it overcrowded with refugees like themselves. With no electricity and their cash and food supply dwindling, her posts became increasingly bleak, interspersed with advice and prayers for others, questions, and the occasional flashes of humor.

In Body Image
Tarteil Yagi/Reddit
In Body Image
Tarteil Yagi/Reddit

“This is a stray bullet that hit us. Thankfully no one got hurt. May Allah protect everyone,” she wrote on April 17.

On April 25, an Irish media outlet interviewed her. (The story spelled Omer differently, which could be an issue with translation or a typo.)

She told the outlet that they weren’t able to leave to get supplies for fear of being shot.

“There’s no saving Sudan at this point,” she said, adding, “Even if you were to flee, there have been multiple incidents of them getting robbed or hijacked by the RSF.”

That was the day she and her family fled to the nearby city of Madani.

“For the first time in 12 days I slept like a baby. Not a single gunshot sound,” she wrote on Reddit.

They tried to find an apartment but there were none available. So they returned to Khartoum.

Things took a significant turn for the worse in the following weeks.

On May 19, Yagi wrote that they had no food, were nearly out of money, and were planning to flee to Port Sudan.

“My parents asked me to learn how to clean and bury corpse,” she said. “The RSF forces are robbing all the nearby houses and it’s only a matter of time before they reach ours. I can’t imagine my mother getting raped or my dad getting shot to death.”

After a bomb hit the nearby airport, which is visible from windows in photos she’s posted, Yagi said that her mother sat her down to discuss plans in the event of her death.

“As I’m writing this tears are stinging my eyes and her words keep circling my head and I just want to bury myself and relieve myself from all of this,” Yagi wrote. “But my parents have no one but me to support them.”

On Monday, she said that the RSF had vandalized their cars and taken anything of value they found inside. The post included video of the cars with their windows busted and other damage.

The next day she posted a video captioned, “POV the RSF is attempting to break into our house.” The camera is pointed at the ceiling and you can hear loud banging sounds.

An hour later, Yagi wrote what she said may be her last post ever. In it, she said that RSF has held their neighborhood hostage for two weeks. She also wrote that their housekeeper had just died.

“Our housekeeper just passed away a few minutes ago from all the beating and raping he had to go through. I saw him getting raped with a glass bottle and it broke inside him and they still kept sodomizing him,” she said.

Yagi said that the RSF had targeted them because they want their cars. Now, she says her family is going to run.

“I finally managed to convince my mother 50F and my dad 80M that sooner or later we are gonna get killed if we just wait for them to run their business and that we should take a run for it because we are now fugitives in their eyes,” she said. “We are planning on going to Bahri which is a nearby city and it’s not safe but at least we aren’t wanted there.”

According to Yagi, the road to Bahri is fraught with danger.

“I don’t know what’s about to happen to me or my family but for what it’s worth I thought I’d just save my last words here.”

“I wanna thank my mother who fed and raised me and nursed me when I was at my lowest and cared for me when no one else did,” Yagi wrote. “And to my dad I want to thank him for helping me [pursuing] my dreams of becoming a doctor and protecting me at all costs and raising me to be the woman I am today.”

She also thanked her best friend Moayad for being loyal and standing by her “even though ur the most annoying human being on earth, I love you. I really do.”

“My fellow readers I don’t want your empathy or pity, I want you to pray for me to be able to get through this so that I can see the light of the sun with you. And if I don’t make it then I want you to remember that I stood my ground and stayed strong because of you.”

“I pray that Allah protects me and my family and if not then allahuma husn alkhatimah. Ashhadu anna la ila ila allah wa ashhadu ana Muhammad rasul allah.”

The final words translate to, “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

Yagi shared this post on multiple subreddits. Her story resonated with the Reddit community. People prayed for her safety and that of her family. Several offered advice on what to take with them and expect during their journey. Some urged her not to go to Bahri due to fighting in the city.

One described her as a “New Age Anne Frank [using] Reddit instead of a diary.”

Many, many people said they would hold out hope of seeing her post from safety.

“We’ll wait for your ‘I made it’ post. Right here,” wrote one.

Yagi has not posted since.

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