News BlogCentral Southern Africa

In South Sudan, we evacuate (Maj1)

A Luftwaffe Transall - B2 archives (Bundeswehr)
A Luftwaffe Transall – B2 archives (Credit: Bundeswehr)

(BRUSSELS2) Faced with the increase in insecurity in Juba, where violent fighting broke out between the regular armed forces and the armed opposition, the evacuation of foreign nationals (diplomats, aid workers, members of NGOs) has begun.

154 foreigners already evacuated

The Bundeswehr dispatched several Transalls to the South Sudanese capital to evacuate a total of 154 people: 32 Germans and 122 other foreigners, from 31 different nations, according to the count provided by the German federal crisis center (operation evacuation was coordinated by the crisis unit of the German Foreign Ministry). They were repatriated to nearby Uganda (Entebbe).

Three Transalls required for evacuation

Three Transall C-160 D type aircraft — equipped with ballistic protection against small arms and extended self-protection (ESS), infrared decoy launchers — participated in the evacuation operations.

The first Transall came from Mali, taken from the German MINUSMA contingent. It landed on Wednesday in Juba, repatriating the first 49 people (including 19 Germans). 4 injured UN peacekeepers were also repatriated to Uganda with a medical team on board.

Two other Transalls from Germany made a stopover in Djibouti and arrived on Wednesday morning in the South Sudanese capital. A second wave of German, European, North American, African and Asian nationals were repatriated to Entebbe. One of the Transalls made a second shuttle during the day to repatriate the last nationals.

German embassy closed

German embassy staff left the country. For the German ambassador in Juba, Johannes Lehne, it “ there was no choice but to evacuate. Fierce street fighting took place right in front of the homes of many staff and aid workers. (…) After four days and nights of intense fighting, the only option was evacuation. »

The Americans send men in protection

The 15 German military observers deployed as part of the United Nations UNMISS mission “remain in the country and continue their activity,” it is specified in Berlin. The American president has decided to send soldiers to protect diplomatic installations (47 men have already arrived in Juba. And 130 are on alert on the permanent base in Djibouti, at Camp Lemonnier).

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).