Berlin under pressure to evacuate Afghans, report
Berlin, Dec 08: Thousands of Afghans who helped the German armed forces during the war in Afghanistan are still waiting to be evacuated from the country, the Funke Mediengruppe reported on Wednesday.
The newspaper group, citing the Interior Ministry, said German authorities agreed to admit around 25,000 Afghans, including people who worked with the Bundeswehr and their dependents, between May 15 and November 26.
More than 17,000 Afghans are still waiting to be airlifted four months after Western countries ended their evacuation missions from Afghanistan.
What else does the report say?
According to the Interior Ministry's response to an inquiry by the Left Party in the German parliament, Germany approved applications to admit around 24,556 Afghans.
That figure includes 4,590 local Afghan staff and 19,966 dependents.
Of those applications, 7,033 people had made it to Germany so far. The figure includes 1,319 local Afghan staff who worked for Germany and 5,711 family members, according to the media report.
German acting Annegret Defense Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer told DPA news agency in April that it was " a deep obligation of the Federal Republic of Germany not to leave these people behind without protection now that we are finally leaving the country."
She added that helping local personnel was an obligation of all international forces in Afghanistan.
Left Party slams slow response
Gökay Akbulut, a member of the Left Party, said the fraction of Afghans brought to Germany was a poor result.
She told the Funke Mediengruppe that Afghans would "hold out in Afghanistan in the greatest fear and insecurity" despite having little opportunity to make their way out of the country.
She also called on the new federal government — German Chancellor-designate Olaf Scholz will be sworn in on December 8 — to accelerate the evacuation of Afghans from the country and make their immigration processes similar.
The Bundeswehr, like Washington's NATO allies, had airlifted nationals out of Kabul after the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan, including the capital, Kabul, faster than Western government and military officials had expected.
Even though NATO allies had sought more time to get people out of the country, US President Joe Biden stood firm on ending rescue operations by August 31 because of the potential of terror attacks if they remained in the country longer.
rm/sms (DPA, Reuters, KNA)