“It was a big sigh of relief, I guess,” he told 9News at the airport.
“A lot of overwhelming feelings.”
He was praying for the more than 100 citizens still stranded in the war-torn country as the final hours of a fragile ceasefire ticked away on Thursday.
Melbourne mother-of-two Mona Gabir was planning a similar exit strategy on a British flight but first had to make a dangerous dash to an airbase near the capital of Khartoum.
While the government said it had worked with other nations to get Australians on some flights out of the capital, it could not guarantee any further departures, prompting panic from the stranded citizens and their relatives.
As the United Kingdom and several European and Middle Eastern nations sent planes to get their citizens out, Eltayeb was critical of the Australian government’s efforts.
“I have rights as well. And then I feel like my rights weren’t met,” he said, saying he and his family had planned to make the dangerous journey over land to the Egyptian border before they heard about the flight,” he said.
“A lot of Sudanese Australians’ rights weren’t met.”
The medicine graduate’s friend Razaz Elsayed helped plan his escape, bombarding the Canadian and UK embassies with emails and calls, without the help of the federal government.
“Why was I doing (Foreign Minister) Penny Wong’s job for the last three days?” Elsayed asked.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the government was doing its best to reach out to Australians in Sudan, while Wong confirmed a few flights out of the country had been secured.
“Australians in Sudan can access several flights operated by partner countries today (27 April) from Wadi Sayyidna airfield north of Khartoum,” Wong wrote on Twitter on Thursday.
“The 72-hour ceasefire ends tonight and further flights after that cannot be guaranteed.
“Australians wishing to depart should strongly consider leaving as soon as possible.”
Eltayeb, who completed a medicine course in Sudan but hadn’t planned to return to Australia for a few months, said he was a proud Aussie but the government’s efforts had been “disappointing” and “hurt”.
“It’s kind of too late right now,” he said.
“The ceasefire is about to end, the last day when the flights are gonna keep coming out and you didn’t — they didn’t inform us about what’s going on and how it’s going on.”
Family friend Faris Ieeom, who was at the airport to meet Eltayeb on Thursday night, said he’d be worried about a lack of government support any time he went overseas in the future.
“We leave these people over there they try to fight for their lives actually to get back in,” he said.
“And the government actually they didn’t do anything.
“There no communication? There’s no trying even to help these people actually to get back to their family once, which is very disappointing.”
Even as the truce between the two warring generals fighting for control of the north-east African country held in Khartoum on Thursday, Darfur residents said the violence was escalating to its worst yet.
The relative calm in the capital allowed foreign governments to airlift out hundreds of citizens, while tens of thousands of Sudanese streamed out of Khartoum, seeking safer areas or escape abroad.
But even in the capital, fighting did not stop, and in the western region of Darfur, armed fighters rampaged battling each other and looting shops and homes, residents said.
An East African initiative was pressing to extend the truce, which was due to run out Thursday night, for another three days.
Canberra has echoed those calls and condemned the violence.
The head of the Sudanese military, General Abdel Fattah Burhan, said he had accepted the proposal, but there was no immediate word from his rival, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commander of the Rapid Support Forces.
Two major camps for displaced people have been burned down, their occupants — mainly women and children from African tribes — dispersed, said Abdel-Shafei Abdalla, a senior official with the General Coordination for Refugees and Displaced in Darfur, a local group that helps administer camps.
“The city is being destroyed,” said Dr Salah Tour, a board member of Doctors’ Syndicate in West Darfur.
At least 512 people, including civilians and combatants, have been killed in Sudan since April 15, with another 4200 wounded, according to the Sudanese Health Ministry.
– reported with Associated Press