Germany wants to pay compensation to the families of victims of the botched US airstrike which the German military ordered in Afghanistan, in September.
The government says it has opened negotiations with a lawyer representing 78 Afghan families – Karim Popal, an Afghan lawyer who practices in Germany. It is seeking an out of court settlement. Apart from the heavy loss of life, which killed civilians and Taliban militants alike, the ensuing scandal led to the resignation of the former German defence minister and the head of the army. The government was accused of a cover-up, hiding its role in the airstrike during the German general election. It is a mess the new German Defence minister must now address. Last week, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg called the attack “inappropriate”. A parliamentary inquiry has been set up to investigate just how much Chancellor Angela Merkel’s previous government knew about the airstrike. Germany’s involvement in Afghanistan is unpopular. There were protests throughout the election campaign.