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Germans Back to Work in Kunduz

The decision by the German development agency to stop its reconstruction efforts in Kunduz was short-lived.
By IWPR staff
IWPR’s article “Aid Squeeze in Kunduz After Security Scare” (ARR 258, 29-June 07) was published after the German government had already lifted its recommendation that its contractors cease work in the province.

This happened due to an editing problem and IWPR apologises for any confusion this may have caused.

In early June, the German government recommended that its contractors leave Kunduz after a series of attacks that left over a dozen dead and many more injured.

However, Florian Weigand, spokesman for Germany’s development agencies in Afghanistan, told IWPR that the contractors were back to work by mid-June.

“It is true that it was the recommendation of the German foreign ministry to bring people to Kabul or to Dushanbe,” he said. “But it was only a recommendation. The decision was in the hands of the organisations themselves.”

After talks between the International Security Assistance Force and the German embassy, and following a report from a security advisor who visited Kunduz, the foreign ministry lifted its advisory and everyone was back at work by June 13, said Weigand.

“Unfortunately, the reader of [your] article may get the impression that the interruption of the development work in Kunduz is still going on,” he said. “It was never the intention that people would stay out of Kunduz for a long time.”

The provincial governor of Kunduz, Engineer Omar, confirmed that the German contactors were back to work.

“The security situation was not good in Kunduz at that time, so reconstruction projects stopped,” he told IWPR. “But the people of Kunduz repeatedly requested that they come back, and we held many meetings with NGOs [non-government organisations] and finally convinced them to continue their work. We guaranteed their security.”

A contractor with a German NGO, who did not want to be named, told IWPR, “The security situation in Kunduz was not good when we stopped our work. We started again two weeks ago [mid-June], but even now in some districts it is impossible. We are unable to work in Char-Dara and Aliabad because the security situation is not good.”

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