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Police officers accompany an Afghanm man up plane steps
Image: Michael Kappeler/dpa/picture alliance

Germany scraps Afghan deportation flight

May 4, 2021

Berlin says it is delaying a Tuesday deportation flight to Afghanistan over "logistical" issues. Human rights groups have been calling for them to be ditched permanently.


The German government has canceled a planned deportation flight to return migrants to Afghanistan, senior officials said on Monday.

A spokeswoman for Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said the "return measure" had been postponed due to "logistical" problems.

International troops officially began withdrawing from Afghanistan on May 1. 

Is Germany canceling all deportations to Afghanistan?

Refugee advocate groups have called for the cancelation of all future flights. They said that the deportations had been axed owing to the deteriorating security situation in the country, which was invaded by a US-led NATO alliance in 2001.

Officials quoted by the AFP news agency said that the federal government was concerned about the safety of the police officers accompanying the potential returnees.

The need for increased security measures in Kabul made flights impossible between May 1 and May 6.

Officials told the dpa news agency that Germany would not scrap its policy of allowing deportations to Afghanistan.

What is Germany doing in Afghanistan?

German troops are deployed to the country as part of NATO's Resolute Support mission to train the Afghan National Defense forces

An Afghan boy with an UNICEF schoolbag rides his bicycle past German Soldiers as patrol the area near the DHQ (Char Dara District Police Headquarter) in the province of Kunduz on March 29, 2012
There are concerns that the NATO pullout could boost the Taliban.Image: AFP/Getty Images/J. Eisele

Last month, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said Berlin would do all it can to help local Afghans who had assisted Germany's military during the campaign.

A procedure for admitting local Afghan staff who need refuge already exists, although there are a number of disputed cases.

According to the Defense Ministry, 781 people have been approved for residency in Germany since 2013.

German officials are trying to streamline the process to make easier for those Afghans to seek a new life in Germany.

What happened after 9/11?

Shortly after the September 11 terror attacks in 2001, then-US President George W. Bush announced the White House's military response, targeting Islamic fundamentalist groups such as the Taliban.

It was in 2014 when the Obama administration first announced plans to end the US's combat role in the conflict.

President Joe Biden, though, is determined to end what he called "the forever war," and announced last month that the withdrawal of the remaining American forces would be complete by the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Members of the US-backed alliance agreed this month to wrap up their 9,600-strong mission in Afghanistan.

The decision —  which delayed by several months a deadline agreed by former US President Donald Trump — came despite fears it could allow the Taliban to regain power in the country.

jf/rt (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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