Afghanistan is sinking into chaos a few weeks after the troop withdrawal began. Why should “local staff” be evacuated so urgently?
Munich – The Bundeswehr flies German citizens and local staff from Afghanistan, which was conquered by the Taliban. Even if it seems almost impossible due to the chaotic scenes at Kabul airport – the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BaMF) wants to enable the local staff to leave Afghanistan.
“I very much regret that I worked for the Bundeswehr. When the Taliban knock on my door, I hope they’ll shoot me right away, ”said the translator Ahmad Jawid Sultani in a guest article by at the beginning of July Süddeutsche Zeitung written. But why are local workers and their families in Afghanistan particularly at risk?
Local staff in Afghanistan: work for the German Bundeswehr or German companies
Anyone who works for the German army in their home country when the Bundeswehr is deployed abroad is called a “local employee”. This includes people who work as translators, who carry out driving services or who work as security guards or cooks, for example. This also includes employees of German aid and development organizations who are citizens of the country of assignment – and the definition can also be extended to employees of German companies.
“We go everywhere together, what happens to us happens to you too. We fight terrorism together, we go wherever the insurgents could be, and you are right at the front, ”the Bundeswehr told the translator according to his description during his interview. After 24 hours of reflection, he agreed – against the warnings of his family. Because he wanted to contribute to peace in his country.
Local workers in Afghanistan: This is why their lives are particularly at risk
After the Taliban took the presidential palace in Kabul, they promised an amnesty to the employees of foreign military organizations. But experts strongly doubt the truthfulness of this statement. “In the eyes of the Taliban, I worked with the enemy,” writes Sultani. “And there are also rumors in the neighborhood about me that I might have been a spy or that I ate pork with the Germans, that I am not a good Muslim.” With the help of the Dutch, he managed to travel to the Netherlands in July, Waiting longer could have cost him and his neighbors their lives, he is convinced of that.
After the Taliban marched through, Germany wants to have local workers flown out – in addition to its own nationals – and grant them and their families asylum in Germany. In Germany, you should first be accommodated in an initial reception center, then in accommodation in a municipality and receive a residence permit limited to three years. However, there is a dispute about how far the group of local workers to be evacuated is included. And to what extent their family members can also be flown out. (cat)