European nations, including Germany, had planned to use an airfield north of Khartoum in Sudan to airlift citizens to safety, but they allege that British forces landed at the airfield without the Sudanese army’s permission. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) denied the allegations and said that they had permission to land.
The unannounced British military presence angered the Sudanese army, leading them to refuse access to the facility. Negotiations to use the airfield were delayed, causing German rescuers to lose at least half a day during a small window of opportunity.
The MoD denied responsibility for any delay and said they had worked closely with their partners. Germany has since ended its rescue mission, having airlifted over 700 people, including 200 German nationals, to safety. Military leaders were reportedly “not amused” by the situation, and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock criticized countries that had focused only on rescuing diplomatic staff instead of all their citizens on the ground and their partners.