Bundeswehr ends evacuation mission in Sudan

Status: 04/25/2023 10:04 p.m

The Bundeswehr ended its evacuation flights in the embattled Sudan in the evening. She flew more than 600 people out of the African country. However, the possibility of further assignments is to be kept open.

The Bundeswehr has ended its evacuations in the African conflict country Sudan after three days. A sixth evacuation flight left Sudan in the afternoon. In the evening, the Bundeswehr announced on Twitter that another plane with almost 120 people had landed in Jordan. The onward journey to Germany is being prepared, it said.

The armed forces would be transferred back to Germany, “but remain responsive,” said a joint statement by the Ministry of Defense and the Federal Foreign Office.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that ARD Capital Studio: “Then that was it for now. As far as we have an overview through the Federal Foreign Office, everyone who was reachable was also reached and made their way to the airport.” Germans who are still in Sudan and have not yet made it to the airport should be taken on evacuation flights from other countries in the coming days.

Baerbock and Pistorius thank civilian and military forces

By the afternoon, around 520 people had already been evacuated by the Bundeswehr in six flights to Jordan, including around 170 Germans. Around 1000 soldiers were deployed.

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Pistorius thanked all civil and military forces. Baerbock spoke of “courage, teamwork and tireless commitment on the part of many hundreds of participants in the armed forces, federal police and foreign office”. Defense Minister Pistorius highlighted the performance of the soldiers. “We can all be proud of the squad,” he said. “It worked from the start and met all requirements.”

A fourth German flight has brought other people from Sudan to safety.

Vote on mandate on Wednesday

The federal government wants to keep the option open to continue the mission until the end of May: the Bundestag is to vote on a corresponding mandate on Wednesday. In theory, up to 1,600 soldiers should be able to take part. An upper limit that can also be exceeded for a limited period of time – but probably won’t, as Pistorius clarified. “That’s the absolute upper limit. We don’t expect that we’ll even have to get there or go beyond that in a reasonably foreseeable situation. And May 31st is a back-up so we can always come down with a quick air pickup,” explained the SPD politician.

Then the government wants to have the approval for the current mission granted retrospectively. Because of the acute danger situation, the Bundeswehr mission was initially started on Sunday without the parliamentary approval that was actually required. The “continued escalation of violence in large parts of the country and in the capital Khartoum” made it necessary for the Bundeswehr to intervene, the federal government writes in its application. The aim of the Bundeswehr mission is to protect “the life and limb of German nationals and other authorized persons”.

Significantly more Britons than nationals of other nations have to endure in Sudan.

Union criticizes ambiguities in the mandate application

A clear majority can be expected when voting on the mission mandate. The opposition Union indicated that it was willing to agree, but criticized the information policy of the federal government and some ambiguities in the mandate application.

The Union “saw with some astonishment that the text was already in the media before we got it,” said parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz (CDU). But there is “basically always the willingness to agree to Bundeswehr operations”. CSU regional group chief Alexander Dobrindt called for some clarifications in the mandate application. The previous version was “insufficient and insufficient”.

The head of the “Afghan local staff sponsorship network” complained in an interview with the ARD Capital Studiono arrangements were made for the local workers who are now being left behind.

The Bundeswehr has so far rescued almost 500 people from Sudan.

Pessimistic assessment for Sudan

As far as the current political perspective for Sudan is concerned, the Federal Government expresses a pessimistic assessment in its application for a mandate. “In recent days, the security and threat situation in Sudan has deteriorated dramatically,” the text says. The inner-Sudanese unification process supported by the international community has been thrown back a long way.

Despite a ceasefire that has been in effect since midnight, airstrikes have again occurred in the capital region of Sudan, according to media reports. The city of Omdurman, which borders directly on the capital Khartoum, is said to have moved into focus. A reporter from the dpa news agency reported that a hospital was also hit during the fighting.

Already on Monday it was said that the UN Security Council wanted to meet for an emergency meeting in the afternoon New York time, according to diplomatic circles.

With information from Kai Küstner, ARD capital studio

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