German defence minister: Military aid for refugees to end during 2016

The deployment of German troops to assist refugees within the country is to end sometime in mid 2016, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said in the January edition of the Bundeswehr association magazine.

Von der Leyen set the planned withdrawal for sometime between June and August, providing that "the situation has improved with the help of measures taken."

Up until then, the German military will continue "to create through our administrative assistance ample room for localities and states to slowly fill the gaps free of stress and to further develop their own structures," she said.

This would mark the end of a one-year period during which the military has assisted local authorities in dealing with a wave of migrants and refugees unprecedented in Europe since World War II.

Around 7,000 soldiers are currently involved in providing care and assistance to the new arrivals, many of whom are fleeing conflict in Syria and other war-torn countries, and ensuring that all asylum seekers are registered. This deployment is down from a previous high of 9,000.

Last update: Sat, 02/01/2016 - 15:24

More from Europe

Schulz's SPD surges past CDU for first time in decade, survey shows

The German centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) are ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) for...

Renzi resigns as head of Italy's Democratic Party

Former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi stepped down Sunday from his role as head of country's ruling Democratic...

Pence, family visit former Nazi concentration camp after Munich talks

US Vice President Mike Pence visited the former Nazi concentration camp of Dachau on Sunday as part of his first...

What happened in Sweden? Country confused by Trump's rally remarks

Swedish commentators and media Sunday reacted with astonishment at weekend remarks by US President Donald Trump...

Russia 'disappointed' with Pence's remarks on Ukraine conflict

Russia is "disappointed" with US Vice President Mike Pence's comments regarding Moscow's implementation of a...