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Evacuations from Afghanistan, 20 August 2021

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The security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated drastically in the last few weeks. The evacuation of German nationals and other persons at risk has been underway since Monday.

The Bundeswehr has been flying military aircraft back and forward between Kabul and Tashkent and has been working with partners – such as the United States – to evacuate more individuals.

Since Monday, it has been possible to fly out around 1600 persons in this way. They include Germans, Afghans and nationals of international partners (as of 08.30 on Friday, 20.08.2021).

Evacuation under difficult conditions A core team from the German Embassy, security forces and soldiers are based in the military section at Kabul airport, from where they are organising the evacuations. They are all working under extremely difficult and dangerous conditions. The security situation on the route to the airport and in front of the airport remains volatile. The aim is to enable as many people as possible to leave the country and to continue the flights for how ever long the security situation allows. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stressed:

"*When you see the images coming out of Afghanistan, the feelings they trigger are anything but pleasant. I know many of these people – I myself have been in Afghanistan many times during the last three years. I have been in the presidential palace, where the Taliban are now sitting. We have supported many NGOs, women’s rights activists, human rights activists. We are all concerned about their fate. Indeed, their plight is constantly on our minds. That is why we are trying to do everything we can to help as many people as possible*."

The Federal Cabinet discussed the operation today and adopted a mandate for the evacuation mission. The Bundestag must now approve this mandate. Owing to the imminent danger, the mission has begun before the Bundestag votes on it. An operation involving up to 600 military personnel is envisaged.

Info

The German Embassy in Kabul has been closed since 15 August. German nationals are urged to register their details in the emergency contact list ELEFAND . Please always heed the current travel and safety advice, as well as the appeal to leave Afghanistan which has been in place since March 2020. There is a crisis hotline for emergencies: 0049 (0)30 1817 1000 or 0049 (0)30 5000 1000