Saturday, December 21, 2013

Taliban Revenge: The Plight of Germany's Afghan Staff --- Berlin is under pressure following the murder of a former Afghan interpreter who worked for the German army. The Taliban had threatened him for working with foreign troops. But only a small number of Afghan staff are getting German residence permits. -- It was a strange sight on that day in April, when 16 Afghans protested in front of the German military base in Kunduz. They had worked for the German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, until recently, most of them as translators and interpreters. Now they were standing outside a barbed-wire fence, holding up protest signs. They had come to beg the German soldiers not to leave them behind unprotected. -- One of the demonstrators was a young man wearing leather sandals. His name was Jawad Wafa, and he had worked as an interpreter for the "Kunduz Task Force" since January 2009. In return for risking his life for the Germans, he was initially paid the equivalent of €400 ($550) and later €660 a month. -- That was until January, when the Bundeswehr began its withdrawal from Afghanistan. Wafa and his fellow translators were no longer needed but, unlike the German soldiers, they had to stay behind in Afghanistan.-- The Bundeswehr employees feared the wrath of the Taliban, who had repeatedly announced their intention to kill anyone who had worked with the foreigners. The Germans' local employees received death threats on a regular basis, prompting Wafa and his co-workers to write on their signs: "We don't want to be killed by the insurgents. We want to live." -- On Nov. 24, Wafa was found dead in the trunk of a blue Toyota Corolla parked in downtown Kunduz. His hands had been tied behind his back with cables. There was a plastic bag over his head, and his face was swollen and covered with large, dark spots. A piece of wire was wrapped around his neck. Wafa had apparently been strangled. - More, Der Spiegel, at:


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