Berlin (dpa) – With German support, more than 300 other people in need of protection were evacuated from Kabul by plane after the Bundeswehr flights ended.
According to federal government information, it was about 140 Germans as well as local staff and employees of a subcontractor from the NATO mission ended Sunday evening. “Zeit” and “Spiegel” also reported that 189 people in need of protection were brought to the airport and airlifted, organized by the private rescue initiative Kabul Airlift, including German media workers. The Bundeswehr ended its evacuation mission on Thursday. The US armed forces want to withdraw by Tuesday.
The rescue initiative accused the federal government of a lack of support and massive resistance to a prepared evacuation. “Thanks to immense efforts, we were able to bring 18 threatened local workers from Kabul to safety. 18 human lives, and it could have been hundreds more if our rescue operation had not been actively blocked by the Federal Foreign Office, ”read a statement on the company’s website on Sunday. civil. The federal government rejected the criticism.
Rescue mission blames federal government
The rescue mission had sent a charter plane to Kabul to evacuate those in danger. “We had safe accommodation for hundreds of people, we officially put them on the Foreign Ministry’s lists and got them approved, arranged bus transport through the Qatari embassy and could have brought people there. ‘airport and on our plane within hours, “the initiative said. The federal government “refused to write an email to authorize the transport,” he said.
The initiators say the experience leaves you speechless and angry and testifies to a “bureaucratic and political prevention tactic.” And: “It was publicly stated that the plane was welcome, but after landing there, it was clear: our plane should not evacuate people. When Portugal gratefully accepted our offer to evacuate its local Afghan staff, German diplomats apparently attempted to force the plane not to evacuate anyone. “
The federal government dismissed the allegations as unwarranted and cited chaos and dangers in Kabul as well as blockades at Taliban checkpoints, which had made access to the airport more difficult in recent days. Regarding the chartered plane, it was explained that the free seating capacity was never the bottleneck of the evacuation, but the safe transport of those in need of protection to the airport. of the Afghan capital.
German ambulance aircraft already withdrawn
The Bundeswehr also withdrew the last soldiers from the evacuation mission in Germany this weekend. The medical plane (“MedEvac”) held ready for emergencies also landed on Saturday at Wunstorf air base in Lower Saxony, as announced by the Bundeswehr. He was stationed in the Uzbek capital Tashkent for a possible rescue of the wounded from Kabul, Afghanistan.
On Friday evening, three machines from the Bundeswehr from Tashkent landed in Wunstorf, bringing back around 380 soldiers from the mission. In the largest evacuation operation in the history of the Bundeswehr, the Air Force transported 5,347 people from Kabul from at least 45 countries in eleven days, mostly Afghans, but also more of 500 Germans. On Sunday, the last two transport planes returned with equipment.