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German evacuation efforts in Sudan allegedly delayed by the UK

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Senior German political sources have told the media that British attempts to remove its diplomatic workers from Sudan over the weekend slowed down efforts by other nations to save their own citizens.

They claim that British forces entered Sudan without the consent of the Sudanese army while other European countries hoped to fly their citizens to safety.

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That was called “complete nonsense” by the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD).

Germany, among others, had planned to use the airfield north of Khartoum from which subsequent evacuation operations have been conducted.

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But, the sources say, the “unannounced British military presence” so angered the Sudanese army that they refused access to the facility.

According to one source, having landed without permission, the British had to pay the army before leaving.

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And negotiations to use the airfield meant that German rescuers “lost at least half a day” during what was, at the time, considered to be a very small window of opportunity.

The MoD denied that it was responsible for any delay.

In a statement, it said: “It is not accurate to suggest that Britain’s efforts to evacuate embassy staff from Sudan last weekend slowed-down Germany’s plans.

“Operating in such complex circumstances will always come with challenges, but we have worked extremely closely with our French, US and particularly German partners who have facilitated access to the airfield throughout this week, and of course we remain grateful to the Sudanese Armed Forces.”

Later, an MoD spokesperson said it was “complete nonsense to claim that we landed in Sudan without permission from the Sudanese army. We had permission”.

After airlifting more than 700 people to safety on six flights from the airfield north of Khartoum that the UK is now utilizing for its evacuation operation, Germany has now concluded its rescue mission.

German citizens made up about 200 of those who were transported to safety, while the remaining people came from 30 other countries, including the UK.

Defense officials’ rage has been subdued in Berlin by the pleasure and joy that its mission came to a relatively successful conclusion, but military authorities are still reportedly “not amused.”

Even Boris Pistorius, the defense minister, couldn’t help but poke fun.

When asked why the UK had managed to get its embassy staff out on Saturday, while German flights only started on Sunday, Mr Pistorius said: “How shall I put it diplomatically? They ignored what the Sudanese had stipulated.”

And, in Berlin, there are lingering traces of disdain for the UK government’s initial handling of the crisis.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock may not have mentioned the UK by name but launched a thinly disguised attack on countries that, she implied, had abandoned their citizens and focused their rescue efforts only on diplomatic staff.

“It was important to us that the [German] evacuation, unlike other countries, didn’t just involve our diplomatic personnel but all Germans on the ground and their partners.”


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