Local staff life and death decisions | free press

There are many lists that are currently being prepared in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and are called by the Bundeswehr operations command. Lists that make the difference between life and death. It lists the names of the Afghans who have yet to be evacuated from the land captured by the Taliban. They are former employees of…

There are many lists that are currently being prepared in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and are called by the Bundeswehr operations command. Lists that make the difference between life and death. It lists the names of the Afghans who have yet to be evacuated from the land captured by the Taliban. They are former employees of the Bundeswehr and German ministries who have served the Germans as translators, cleaners, drivers or cooks. Among them are endangered women’s rights activists. There are so-called fixers and translators who enable journalists to report from within the country. And they are employees of small aid organizations that the federal government has been hiding until now.

In fact, four federal ministries employed Afghans. The Defense Ministry, of course, which is responsible for the Bundeswehr’s auxiliaries. In the end there were about 300, at the height of the largest military operation of the Bundeswehr even around 1300. The Ministry of the Interior was involved in the low double-digit range – the personnel was needed to support the police training mission. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was responsible for Afghan employees near the German embassy, ​​also recently only in the double-digit range. In the end, by far the largest contingent was attached to the Ministry of Development. At the end of 2020, the Society for International Cooperation, which carries out development projects on behalf of the ministry, employed 1,031 Afghan workers.

Before the Taliban came to power, this distinction played a major role in emigration. As the deployment of the Federal Armed Forces ended in early summer, the majority of the 1,800 local workers who had come to Germany so far were employed by the Ministry of Defence. The embassy was still active until Sunday. Development organizations, on the other hand, expected to be able to operate in Afghanistan for a longer period of time and therefore had no interest in losing their national staff. The same was true for the media. “Acted much too late, much too slow and much too bureaucratic” – that is nevertheless the testimony given by Lucas Wehner of the sponsor network of Afghan local workers, the federal government. Former employees who were no longer employed at that time, but who were nevertheless threatened, had the prospect of traveling to Germany with their nuclear families. The size of the list of “about 10,000 people” comes together who are now eligible for departure. This could have started earlier, but bureaucratic wrestling over passports and security checks and attention to the ex-government in Kabul, which wanted to avoid the image of a mass exodus, prevented that. Now chaos reigns.

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