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Federal Government decides to double number of German personnel in creation of Afghan Police Force

24.09.2008

Joint Press Release Federal Foreign Office and Federal Ministry of the Interior

The Federal Republic of Germany will markedly increase its support for the creation of Afghan security forces.

The Federal Cabinet decided in its meeting today (24 September) to double the size of the German contingent deployed within the European police mission EUPOL Afghanistan. In future, up to 120 federal and state police officers and other civilian experts from Germany will be able to participate in the mission. Moreover, the Cabinet also decided to increase personnel within the framework of German bilateral engagement to establish a police force.

A well-trained Afghan police force is one of the pillars of the Afghan security sector. The presidential election in the coming year will be an important test for the security forces. The Federal Government is taking a lead role in creating a functioning Afghan security sector, both bilaterally and within the European framework.

EUPOL Afghanistan was established by the European Union in 2007. The mission's task is to promote creation of sustainable and effective police structures under Afghan ownership. It commenced its work on 15 June 2007 and is now operating in 14 provinces of Afghanistan, with over 180 international experts from 21 countries, 44 among them from Germany. The Federal Republic of Germany is thus providing the largest contingent within EUPOL.

On joint suggestion by Federal Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the EU member states are striving to expand the personnel strength of EUPOL Afghanistan to 400 experts. To that end, the Federal Government decided today likewise to double the German staff deployment. The number of German police in the pool will consequently rise from 60 to 120. The decision on the applicants will be made by the EU.

Federal Government also to bolster bilateral effort to create police force

Germany will, at the same time, further expand its bilateral engagement in creating the police force. A centre funded by Germany for basic and advanced training of Afghan police officers will be placed in operation in Mazar-e-Sharif in October this year. In the process, the number of German consultants will initially grow to up to 20 by the end of the coming year; the number of short-term trainers will likewise continue to rise. Thus, Germany will constantly have 40 to 50 police officers on site for basic and advanced training in the bilateral effort. In addition, up to 45 German military police are participating in police training within the framework of the ISAF mandate. This will enable Germany to double the number of trainees in 2009 (relative to 2007) to 3000. Since 2002, a total of 24,000 Afghan police officers have received basic and advanced training by German experts or under German direction.

Apart from training measures, the German consultants will also carry out construction and equipment projects. They will be deployed in Kabul and in the north of Afghanistan. Overall, German support for the creation of the police force was tripled this year, totalling nearly EUR 36 million.

In its current Afghanistan Policy Paper, the Federal Government seeks to further strengthen civilian reconstruction. In 2008 alone, support for civilian reconstruction is being increased by over 70 per cent, to EUR 170.7 million. Under its overall civilian commitment until 2010 Germany has to date made available over EUR 1.1 billion (approx. USD 1.6 billion).

Further information on Germany's commitment in Afghanistan and the creation of the police force can be found on the Foreign Office website at

http://www.diplo.de and at http://www.afghanistan.bundesregierung.de.

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