Kunduz Governor Omar 'It Would Honestly Be Better if They Left'

Security in the Kunduz province of northern Afghanistan has deteriorated markedly in recent months. In an interview with SPIEGEL, Kunduz Governor Mohammed Omar expresses his dissatisfaction with the German troops stationed there.
A German soldier firing a flare from his helicopter while flying over Kunduz Province in Afghanistan.

A German soldier firing a flare from his helicopter while flying over Kunduz Province in Afghanistan.

Foto: Anja Niedringhaus/ AP

SPIEGEL: The German army has been stationed in your province for six years. What are the results so far?

Omar: It is true that the Germans have improved security. The problem is, though, that Bundeswehr commanders are changed every three to six months, and unfortunately, some are not as good as the others. Some are very experienced, but some don't measure up. Good leadership is important.

SPIEGEL: What sort of shortcomings are you talking about?

Omar: When we call them to help with a conflict with the Taliban, they often need orders from the German headquarters in Mazar-e-Sharif first -- and then, they often come too late. Too much time passes, and help doesn't come.

SPIEGEL: Would you prefer US troops?

Omar: The US Special Forces stationed in this province have massively improved our security. They have just completed a big operation in one district in which they killed most of the Taliban there.

SPIEGEL: In your view, when can Afghans takeover the responsibility for their own security?

Omar: To be able to stand on our own feet here in Kunduz province, we still need more than 2,000 police officers and the necessary equipment.

SPIEGEL: What advice would you give to Germany?

Omar: In the past, German troops have elected not to take part in some security operations. If the Germans don't want to work, it would honestly be better if they left our province.

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