Cabinet approves Bundeswehr evacuation operation | free press

Normally, an armed deployment of the Bundeswehr cannot take place without the approval of the Bundestag. The deployment in Afghanistan is an exception. Nevertheless, a legal basis must now be found afterwards.

Berlin (dpa) – The federal government has decided to deploy up to 600 Bundeswehr soldiers to the evacuation operation in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The cabinet on Wednesday approved the draft for a corresponding mandate, which is expected to be voted on in parliament next week. The operation, which has been running since Monday, is limited to the end of September. With the mandate, the government and parliament want to create the legal basis for this afterwards.

The Bundestag must approve any armed deployment by the Bundeswehr. In exceptional cases, this can also be done afterwards, especially if there is an immediate threat. According to the government, this applies to the evacuation of German citizens and Afghan aid workers from the Bundeswehr and federal ministries.

“The deployment of armed German troops cannot be delayed,” said a letter from Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) and Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) accompanying the draft mandate available to the German news agency. Any further waiting for the German Bundestag to finally make a decision could question the successful implementation of the German armed forces or at the very least make it much more difficult and thus endanger the life and limb of the people to be protected. “

The cabinet estimates the extra expenditure for the Bundeswehr at 40 million euros. It is a supposedly robust mandate that also allows the use of military force, “in particular to protect the people to be evacuated and our own troops, as well as in the context of emergency aid”.

The operation began Monday with the shipment of two A400M evacuation machines to Kabul, which would now fly to neighboring Uzbekistan alongside German civilians and Afghans. There they transfer to Lufthansa civilian aircraft. The first plane with about 130 passengers on board landed in Frankfurt am Main on Wednesday night.

Paratroopers trained for evacuations, the elite unit KSK, but also military police, paramedics and air force crews are deployed. The mission is considered the largest evacuation mission of the Bundeswehr to date.

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