Conflicts: Ceasefire in Sudan fragile - still few Germans on site

After the evacuation of hundreds of people from Sudan by the German armed forces, according to Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, there are only "a very, very small number" of Germans in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

Conflicts: Ceasefire in Sudan fragile - still few Germans on site

After the evacuation of hundreds of people from Sudan by the German armed forces, according to Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, there are only "a very, very small number" of Germans in the Sudanese capital Khartoum. For these there is a chance of being flown out by other nations if they want to leave the country, said the Greens politician on Friday in Wunstorf near Hanover. There Baerbock and Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) received the almost 400 members of the Bundeswehr after their rescue operation.

Despite a new ceasefire, fighting broke out again in the crisis-ridden country of Sudan. Eyewitnesses reported that the capital Khartoum in particular was again under heavy shelling. A second 72-hour ceasefire came into effect on Friday night.

In Sudan, the military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been fighting for power since April 15. Representatives of both groups had taken over the leadership of the northeast African country with around 46 million inhabitants through two joint military coups in 2019 and 2021.

RSF leader Mohammed Hamdan Daglo told the BBC he would not negotiate until the fighting ended. Its fighters have been bombed "relentlessly" since the three-day ceasefire was extended. "We don't want to destroy Sudan." He is open to talks, but the condition is that the ceasefire holds. "Cease hostilities. After that we can negotiate."

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 512 people were killed and almost 4,200 injured in the fighting in Sudan. The true number of victims is likely to be significantly higher.

Lack of access to medical care

The UN Emergency Relief Office Ocha said more than 75,000 people have been displaced in Sudan and the number is expected to increase in the coming days. 61 percent of health facilities in Khartoum are closed and only 16 percent are operating as usual, leaving millions without access to medical care. In the hardest-hit urban centers, especially in Khartoum, water, food, fuel and other essential goods are in short supply. The cost of transportation from conflict-affected areas has increased exponentially. Telecommunications and the Internet are affected.

The first 72-hour ceasefire expired on Thursday evening. This also only lasted sporadically. Nevertheless, thousands of civilians were able to flee to neighboring countries during this period. Several countries evacuated their nationals and other people from the crisis country. However, on Thursday the Sudanese Armed Forces and the RSF first agreed to negotiations in Juba, the capital of neighboring South Sudan.

Difficult conditions for the Bundeswehr

Because of the fighting, the Bundeswehr had flown more than 700 people out of Sudan, including Germans and people from other countries. The soldiers, mostly paratroopers, flew on Friday from Jordan to Wunstorf near Hanover in four A400M aircraft. Before landing, Pistorius said the mission had gone well. That shows "that the troops are there when you need them," said the SPD politician.

From Sunday to Wednesday, the Bundeswehr, in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Police, said it had flown more than 700 people from more than 40 nations out of the embattled Sudan. Among them were more than 200 Germans. At times around 1,000 soldiers were involved in the evacuation operation. The Bundestag had subsequently approved the deployment of the Bundeswehr on Wednesday with an unusually clear majority.

Lieutenant Konstantin Brabsche, who was responsible with the military police for the security checkpoint at the airfield near the capital Khartoum, said after his return on Friday evening that the rescue operation had demanded a lot from the Bundeswehr soldiers involved. The troops had to work in a highly complex and fast manner in sweltering heat under improvised conditions.

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