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Passport crowds: Police called a second time to Afghan consulate

Passport crowds : Police called a second time to Afghan consulate

In recent weeks, the Afghan Consulate General in Bonn-Ückesdorf has been extremely busy due to people in need of passport services. Police were called on Wednesday to ensure order and security; a repeat of the scene in early January.

On Wednesday morning, Bonn police secured the Afghan consulate in Ückesdorf with several patrol cars and officers. About 50 Afghan citizens had gathered there, wanting to enter the building because of passport matters. "We have ensured order, but the situation remained peaceful," says police spokesman Simon Rott. There was a similar situation at the beginning of January when police were also called.

Afghan Consul General in Bonn, Sayed Niamatullah Sayer, explains that the reason this happens is because of the consulate's appointment system. "We can only allow access to people who have made an appointment." That didn't happen in this case, which is why the crowd was gathering in front of the building, with people who were upset. Add to that, the fence is currently defective, which makes it easier for unauthorized persons to enter the premises.

The Consul General can only speculate as to why such crowds of people are coming at this time. "We believe it is related to the fact that the German authorities are requesting documents from the Afghans at the end of the year," says Sayer. Many had then used the Christmas holidays to apply for the documents in Bonn. The situation has eased altogether, but there are still days with large, unexpected crowds of visitors. "Interestingly, this happens on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.” Sayer assumes that these crowds will decrease in the next days, and that the strict scheduling will be adhered to. "Experience shows that word gets around in the communities that you have to make an appointment via our website."

Besides the consulate in Bonn, there is also an Afghan consulate in Munich and the embassy in Berlin. According to Sayed Niamatullah Sayer, they want to continue to maintain the location in Ückesdorf in the future. "It is very centrally located and is an important point of contact for the 265,000 Afghans in Germany.” In Ückesdorf, the consulate is responsible for Afghans living in North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse.

Orig. text: Nicolas Ottersbach

Translation: ck