Cabinet: large group of Afghans can no longer be evacuated

Not all Afghans who have worked for the Netherlands will be evacuated in the near future. The outgoing cabinet writes this in a letter to the House of Representatives. Conditions in Afghanistan have changed to such an extent that large-scale evacuations are no longer possible. As a result, not all people who have reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and who meet the conditions will be able to come to the Netherlands.

An exception is only made for people with a Dutch passport, interpreters and a small group of other Afghan employees. “The cabinet wants to facilitate their arrival to the Netherlands as soon as possible.”

The e-mails from other Afghans that arrive after next Friday will no longer be processed.

‘Other NATO countries are doing more’

In a motion passed by D66 member Belhaj, the House stated last month that local employees such as security guards, cooks and drivers have committed themselves to the Netherlands and that they were potentially just as much at risk as interpreters. Until then, the interpreters were the only ones eligible for evacuation, but that changed after that motion. The cabinet promised to implement the motion “in letter and spirit”.

In the letter, the ministers of Kaag, Bijleveld and Broekers-Knol now state that little will change. “With this approach, the cabinet is carrying out the Belhaj motion with due observance of the prevailing circumstances in Afghanistan.”

The question is whether the House will agree with this in today’s debate on the evacuations. PvdA member Kati Piri is in any case critical. “Other NATO countries are still showing commitment to evacuate everyone who has the right to do so. The cabinet – without knowing how many people are eligible for evacuation at all – is already drawing the conclusion ‘there are too many'”.

23,000 emails

According to the government, the Netherlands has received about 23,000 e-mails with requests for help from Afghanistan in recent weeks. It is not clear how many individual senders are behind those emails. It is certain that many people have sent more than one email, but also that many requests are about more than one person. It therefore remains unclear how many people want to come to the Netherlands.

According to the ministers, the e-mails that have come in in recent days are becoming less reliable. “The documentation of the help seekers is often inadequate, and a connection with the Netherlands and/or an acute, distressing situation is sometimes not easy to demonstrate.” People would also try to speed up a previously submitted migration request by emailing.

The cabinet will continue to work for interpreters and about 70 Afghan employees who had already been called up for evacuation, but were unable to reach the airport. They may still be able to join a scheduled flight in the near future.

Security guards not contacted

The Netherlands will consult with refugee organizations IOM and UNHCR about all the others, probably thousands of people. They may then still be able to escape from Afghanistan through international programs, but that route will probably take a lot of time.

The cabinet also says, in response to parliamentary questions, that no more contact has been made with security guards and other employees whose evacuation request has been rejected. They might still be eligible for evacuation after the Belhaj motion was passed, but have not been informed of this by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Furthermore, the ministers write in the letter that “probably” 22 interpreters and their families have stayed behind in the country. Some of them are still in contact. A total of 436 interpreters and other Afghans who worked for military or police missions came to the Netherlands with their relatives during the evacuation.

The letter to the Chamber of Ministers arrived late last night. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs could not be reached for comment.

Cabinet: large group of Afghans can no longer be evacuated
Source link Cabinet: large group of Afghans can no longer be evacuated

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