Sunday 22nd August 2021
Response to Taliban’s advance
Embassy probably arranged the evacuation itself
When the Taliban gradually took Kabul last weekend, everything had to happen very quickly. Employees of the German embassy bring themselves to safety and evacuate the building – apparently on their own. The ministry presents the processes differently.
After the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, those responsible at the German embassy in Kabul are said to have initiated their evacuation on their own, according to a media report. As the “Welt am Sonntag” reported, citing several people familiar with the events, the federal government initially did not take warnings on site seriously enough.
According to the newspaper, the decision to evacuate was made independently in Kabul last Sunday at just before 12.30 p.m. (local time). A little later, the evacuation was ordered – on your own. Only then did the Vice Ambassador send an email to the Federal Foreign Office’s crisis response center asking for clearance.
The Foreign Office told the “Welt am Sonntag”, however, that they always acted amicably with the embassy. Over the weekend they were in “closest contact” about the evacuation preparations. On Friday, the embassy also assessed that security could not be guaranteed in the medium or long term, but in the short term it could. While the preparations for the evacuation were already in progress, the “timelines for this on Saturday became shorter and shorter due to the rapid deterioration in the situation”. When the embassy asked for an immediate evacuation on Sunday, they had “given the green light immediately”.
The Taliban marched into Kabul last Sunday after a swift campaign of conquest, returning to power almost 20 years after the invasion of Afghanistan by Western troops. Tens of thousands of people are currently trying to flee the country.