BOn Monday evening, the German military brought more than 400 people to safety with four evacuation flights from Sudan, including all those dispatched by the German embassy. announced by the Bundeswehr.
On the night of Sunday through Monday, three A4000M military tankers transported about 300 passengers from the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, to the Al Asrak Air Base in Jordan. Another A400M flew about 100 more people from Sudan to Jordan on Monday evening.
From there, the evacuees travel to Germany and their country of origin. Luftwaffe Airbus 101 transported Germans, their families and personnel of other partner countries from Jordan to Berlin on Monday morning.
Foreign Minister Annalina Berbock (The Greens) said at a news conference with Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (Social Democratic Party) that the German military has transferred members from 20 other countries, including Austrians, Belgians, Dutch, British, Jordanians and members from several African countries. . A medium to double digit number of Germans managed to join in on other evacuation missions.
Berbock added that the German military and the German Foreign Ministry used a time window for the mission that resulted from the three-day ceasefire, starting Saturday evening. “We have to assume we’re going to be in a different situation than tonight,” Burbuck said. It is therefore uncertain how long the evacuations could last. She said there were still Germans at the site.
The Foreign Minister called on the parties to the conflict in Sudan to cease fire. “If you care about your country, lay down your arms,” said Burbock.
Chancellor Schulz thanks the Bundeswehr
Chancellor Olaf Scholz thanked the German military on Monday at the edge of the North Sea summit in Belgium. “It is a dangerous task, but it is important to bring the citizens of our country and other countries to safety,” said the SPD politician. “I thank the Bundeswehr for this mission.” Schultz emphasized that the operation was well planned.
Defense Secretary Pistorius spoke of an “extraordinarily complex military operation”, with Pistorius saying: “The German army has demonstrated in exemplary fashion how capable it is of a cold start”. When asked by reporters, Pistorius refused to compare to the sometimes chaotic evacuation mission from Afghanistan. It was a different process under different circumstances.
Regarding the situation of local workers working for the federal government in Sudan, Barbock said that their evacuation is not planned – unlike what happened after the radical Islamic Taliban took power in Afghanistan. In contrast to what is happening in Afghanistan, she said, local workers in Sudan “are not subjected to any particular persecution,” which would be a legal requirement for their evacuation. Also, these employees “did not express their desire to leave the country.”
The federal government and other Western countries have been preparing for days for a militarily protected rescue of Europeans and third-country nationals from Sudan. For this purpose, the Bundeswehr transferred several hundred paratroopers with weapons and materials from Germany to the Al-Asrak air base in Jordan.
In the capital, Khartoum, the supply situation has evolved dramatically since the fighting began. There is a shortage of water and food, and power outages increasingly impede communication. The first attempt to evacuate on Wednesday failed because the security situation in Khartoum was considered too dangerous.
The chair of the Bundestag’s defense committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, said in the ARD program “Report from Berlin” that the Bundestag could later agree to the task of evacuating the Bundeswehr. “There may be open windows where you can evacuate. The FDP politician warned.
The evacuation of more than 1,000 citizens from the European Union countries from Sudan
Other countries are also trying to save their citizens. According to official information, more than 1,000 EU citizens were brought to safety on Monday morning. The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, spoke at the EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg on Monday about 20 more trips that were scheduled for Monday. France, like Germany, had already sent military aircraft to Khartoum on Sunday.
Italy has sent military aircraft to Djibouti to remove 140 Italians, as well as Swiss citizens and staff of the Vatican’s diplomatic mission, the Apostolic Nunciature, from Sudan. Spain also evacuated 30 nationals and 70 nationals from other countries, including Argentina, Colombia, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Mexico and Venezuela via Djibouti.
France closed its embassy in Sudan on Monday. “The French embassy in Sudan is no longer a gathering point for those who want to leave Khartoum,” the foreign ministry said in Paris on Monday. She added that the French embassy in Sudan continues to work under the responsibility of the Paris ambassador.
Unlike other diplomats, the EU ambassador will remain in Sudan. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wrote on Twitter that representation staff in Khartoum would be evacuated. EU Ambassador Aidan O’Hara, who himself was attacked shortly after fighting broke out more than a week ago, will continue to work from Sudan.
The United States had previously evacuated its embassy staff and closed its embassy in Khartoum until further notice. According to American information, the special forces took about 70 employees out of the country by helicopter. However, there are still thousands of American citizens in Sudan. Government departments said that launching a massive evacuation would be very dangerous. Great Britain also said on Sunday that British diplomats and their families had been successfully brought to safety.
Sudan’s de facto president and commander-in-chief, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, agreed to evacuate citizens of other countries and diplomatic representatives on Saturday. The army is fighting for power in Sudan against the once allied paramilitary unit of the Rapid Support Forces.