German Press Review: Peacekeeping Carries Risks | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 10.06.2003
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German Press Review: Peacekeeping Carries Risks

The suicide bomb attack that killed four German peacekeepers in Afghanistan three days earlier absorbed editorialists in Germany's leading newspapers on Tuesday.


Newspapers continued to concentrate on the suicide bombing in Kabul.

The German papers -- most of which did not publish over the Pentacost holiday on Sunday and Monday -- were still preoccupied with the suicide bombing of ISAF international peacekeeping troops in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday, in which four German soldiers died.

They were the first soldiers Germany had lost in a direct attack since World War II, wrote Die Welt, a Berlin daily. The paper examined reactions in Germany and concluded that the country almost appears to have been embarrassed. "We don't have the rituals, or the right words," the paper said, adding that as a nation, Germans had forgotten how to deal with such things. "We're going to have to learn again because the four dead in Kabul won't be the last," the paper commented.

Bonn's General-Anzeiger warned that more terrorist attacks are to be expected in Afghanistan. Under such circumstances an expansion of ISAF's mandate beyond Kabul would be extremely problematic, the paper said. And it urged the EU to carefully consider Germany's planned participation in the current United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Cologne tabloid Express agitated for continued support for the German army's overseas missions despite the attack in Kabul. "Even after what happened in Kabul, Germany cannot and will not withdraw from its duties in the scope of the United Nations and NATO. The war against terror can only be won through long-term international commitment. Otherwise, soldiers from other countries would be only too right in asking why they should risk their necks when the Germans aren't," the paper commented. It also argued that pulling out would fuel the determination of extremists worldwide. But, the Express said, Germany should immediately learn from the attack and improve the security of the troops there, even if the budget for the military is tight.