When the Taliban take power in Afghanistan, many local Bundeswehr personnel cannot be evacuated. An association promotes not leaving people behind.

Ten months after the radical Islamic Taliban took power in Afghanistan, up to 10,000 people are still waiting to emigrate to Germany, according to the sponsorship network for former local Bundeswehr personnel.

In addition to local staff and their families, there were many subcontractors who had worked in Afghanistan on behalf of the Bundeswehr, said Lothar Hankel, ex-sergeant and head of the Cologne/Bonn regional group of the sponsorship network, the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”.

Donations dropped sharply

The association was able to save 324 people who were on a list of particularly vulnerable people that had been made available to the Foreign Office. Now the financial resources are exhausted, also because the amount of donations has fallen sharply. In the meantime, contact has been lost with many of the people at risk.

On the anniversary of the change of power in August, the association wants to draw attention to the problem at a one-day congress in Berlin. The Inspector General of the German Armed Forces, Eberhard Zorn, and the Chairwoman of the Defense Committee, Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP), are also to be invited to the congress.

The Taliban launched a military offensive in Afghanistan in early May 2021 after the United States announced its withdrawal from the country. The Islamists first conquered hundreds of districts and from the beginning of August almost all provincial capitals within a few days. They took the capital Kabul without a fight in mid-August.