The Federal Government and the Bundestag want to pay tribute to the mission in Afghanistan, which has now ended after almost 20 years, with a big tattoo in front of the Reichstag. According to information from the German Press Agency, the federal government and parliament agreed on this. According to this, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony, an appeal and talks by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier with bereaved and relatives on August 31 in the Bendler Block, the seat of the Defense Ministry in Berlin. Then the tattoo in front of the Reichstag building is planned. After the end of the mission in Afghanistan, there were increasing voices calling for a dignified closing event in front of the Reichstag building in Berlin. After the last units returned on June 30th, there was criticism because no politician had received the returnees. The Great Zapfenstreich is the highest military ceremony of the German armed forces and follows a set sequence of musical elements and a military ceremony with torchbearers.
Since the US and other NATO troops began to withdraw in early May, the security situation in Afghanistan has worsened. The militant Islamist Taliban have taken around a quarter of the districts and invaded several provincial capitals. According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, many people are fleeing because of the security situation, and there is also extortion by armed groups. Around 270,000 Afghans have also been displaced in their own country since the beginning of the year, UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch said in Geneva on Tuesday. This means that more than 3.5 million people in the country are on the run. In view of the Taliban’s advance, Afghanistan has asked the German government to suspend deportations there for three months. Berlin wanted to check this. Talks would be held with the European partners and with the government in Kabul, said a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Finland has already announced that it will suspend deportations to Afghanistan
© SZ from 07/14/2021 / dpa / Reuters
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