Friday, August 12

Germany supports rescue operation in Kabul with helicopters


Correspondent in Berlin

Updated:

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The German Defense Ministry has confirmed the shipment of two helicópteros H-145 M whose mission is to transport people who must be evacuated from their homes or hiding places to the airport in the Afghan capital, a journey that in many cases they are unable to travel on their own, which seriously hampers the evacuation process. They are expected to arrive in Kabul in the next few hours and begin operations “as soon as possible”. Of the legal coverage of this deployment Chancellor Merkel has personally commissioned, that it has applied to the Bundestag for permission and has parliamentary support to deploy “up to several hundred” German soldiers to ensure that transfers can be carried out. “Is about expand operational capabilities in Kabul and get out of there as to people in possible dangerous situations, “said Defense spokesman Arne Collatz, who described the situation in Kabul as” unsafe but not hostile “for the rescue mission.

Meanwhile, the first rescued Afghans are beginning to be distributed in different German towns. They land on Lufthansa flights at Frankfurt airport, where they pass a coronavirus test and fingerprints are taken for identification, in addition to transcribing their name into Latin characters, and from there they are transferred by buses to the assigned destination. Most of them do not have to go through the asylum procedure. German soldiers accompany groups of up to twenty people with the help of interpreters. “They are very distrustful, especially at the beginning, they are afraid that someone will try to separate the families and they rest only when they verify that they are traveling together and that they are staying together,” explains one of those companions. Jürgen Bredtmann, who has traveled with a group to the town of Rahlstedt, near Hamburg. It is a group of 19 people that includes three families, including seven minors. “At first they were very tense, but when they have seen the treatment they are given, they are grateful. And the next thing they ask is whether it will be possible to get other relatives or friends out of Afghanistan, also in danger, “he says.

Hamburg was the first of the German Bundesländer to offer 250 places for Afghan refugees. The Federal Police and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) work closely together to ensure correct identification and registration, before issuing an exceptional visa. In the process, a security check is carried out which consists of an automatic comparison with lists of terrorists. “Once correctly identified, they are transferred to a temporary home and are provided with what they need for the first days,” explains the companion of another group, whose destination has been Doberlug-Kirchhain, in Brandenburg, near Berlin. The distribution system, apart from the voluntary offers made by regional governments, is known as sistema Koenigsteiner, which determines which federal state has to accept how many people according to tax revenue and population. As indicated in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, “the willingness of the federal states to accept is taken into account. Hamburg was particularly early, but now there are already offers from all the federal states to accept Afghans. ‘ The Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, who is also a candidate for Chancellor of the Union, announced for example that he will provide accommodation to 800 Afghan employees of German companies and 1,000 rescued Afghan women.

Local workers and their families do not have to go through the asylum procedure. They will receive a residence permit directly from the local immigration authorities, which is generally limited to three years. They can then quickly leave the initial reception center and move to community accommodation. This regulation also applies to a second group, as announced by Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer: people who are on the federal government’s lists because they are particularly worthy representatives of Afghan society, including journalists and human rights activists. The interior ministers have agreed that they will not have to enter the asylum procedure either.

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