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
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