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Afghanistan: How are the US, allies handling the evacuation?

CM 26/08/2021 2

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The United States and allies are hurrying to evacuate as many people from Afghanistan as possible before an Aug. 31 deadline amid growing security fears at Kabul airport.
The United States and coalition partners have evacuated about 100,100 people since Aug. 14, the day before the Taliban entered Kabul, the White House said on Thursday.
Here are some more details of the evacuation effort by country:


The US military will continue evacuating people from Kabul airport until Aug. 31 if needed, but will prioritize the removal of US troops and military equipment on the last couple of days, the Pentagon has said.
Washington has so far evacuated 4,500 US citizens and their families, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday.
There are still about 1,500 U.S. citizens in Afghanistan and the US government is working to either contact them or has already given them instructions on how to get to Kabul airport, Blinken said.


Britain has declined to specify when its last evacuation flight would leave, beyond saying that British troops would have to have left ahead of the last US flights out on Aug. 31. The Ministry of Defence said 13,146 people have been brought out of Kabul while armed forces minister James Heappey said about 400 people who needed to be evacuated were still in the country.


Germany has said it will continue evacuation flights as long as possible. By early on Thursday, the German military had evacuated 5,193 people on 34 flights.
The ministry said on Wednesday it estimated more than 200 German citizens remained in Kabul. Some 540 Germans had already been evacuated.
Overall, Germany had said it had identified 10,000 people who needed to be evacuated, including Afghan local staff, journalists and human rights activists.


France expects to complete its evacuation flights from Kabul on Friday evening, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said. The French foreign ministry said that, as of Wednesday evening, more than 100 French nationals and more than 2,000 Afghans had reached French soil after being evacuated from Kabul airport.
 Evacuees from Afghanistan arrive at Al-Udeid airbase in Doha, Qatar in this recent undated handout. (credit: REUTERS) Evacuees from Afghanistan arrive at Al-Udeid airbase in Doha, Qatar in this recent undated handout. (credit: REUTERS)


Qatar said on Thursday it has so far helped evacuate more than 40,000 people to Doha and “evacuation efforts will continue in the coming days in consultation with international partners.”


Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Thursday Belgium ended its evacuation operations after U.S. sources informed the government of an imminent suicide bomb attack around Kabul airport.
A little over 1,400 people were evacuated by Belgium from Kabul, with the last flight arriving at Islamabad on Wednesday night, he said.


Canadian forces in Kabul ended evacuation efforts for their citizens and Afghans on Thursday, ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline, acting chief of the defense staff General Wayne Eyre said.
He said Canada had evacuated or facilitated the evacuation of around 3,700 Canadian and Afghan citizens.


Turkey has evacuated at least 1,400 people from Afghanistan, including around 1,000 Turkish citizens, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier this week. Turkey also began to evacuate its troops in Afghanistan, with the first flight due to arrive in Ankara on Thursday.


Poland has evacuated about 900 people from Afghanistan, including about 300 women and 300 children, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday. He said the final flight had been due to land in Warsaw on Thursday morning.


India has airlifted 565 people from Afghanistan, most of them Indian embassy personnel and citizens living there but also dozens of Afghans including Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, a government official said on condition of anonymity. There was no decision yet on when they planned to stop the flights, he said.


The UAE said on Thursday it has helped evacuate 36,500 people to date, including 8,500 coming to the UAE via its national carriers or airports.


Hungary has ended evacuations in Afghanistan after airlifting 540 people, including Hungarian citizens and Afghans and their families who worked for Hungarian forces previously, the Hungarian Defence Minister Tibor Benko said on Thursday.


Denmark made its last evacuation flight out of Kabul on Wednesday with the remaining diplomatic staff and military personnel, according to its defense ministry.
Denmark has airlifted around 1,000 people from Afghanistan since Aug. 14, including diplomatic staff, their families, former interpreters, Danish citizens as well as people from allied countries, the ministry said.


Austria is not operating its own flights and is relying on Germany and other countries to help with its evacuation. So far 89 people with Austrian citizenship or residency have been airlifted out, while another two to three dozen people are still in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg told national broadcaster ORF on Wednesday.
The number is changing constantly as new people are getting in touch with the Austrian authorities “almost daily,” Schallenberg said.


Switzerland, which is relying on Germany and the United States to help with its evacuation efforts via Tashkent, has got 292 people out of Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis said on Tuesday. There were still 15 Swiss citizens in Afghanistan, but no more Swiss evacuation flights were planned, he said.
The Dutch government said on Thursday it had evacuated 2,500 people from Afghanistan since Aug. 15, with about 1,600 of them brought to the Netherlands. The Dutch ambassador left on the final flight Thursday. The Dutch have no consular presence remaining in the country.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday that Australia had evacuated 4,100 people, including over 3,200 citizens and Afghans with Australian visas, over nine days, with the last planned flight leaving before the airport blasts. The other evacuees were from coalition partners.
He also said Australia’s operations there were now complete. Morrison acknowledged some Australian visa holders remain in Afghanistan, though he said Canberra did not know exact numbers.


New Zealand’s Defence Force (NZDF) ran three flights out of Kabul, and the last planned flight had left before the bomb blasts, a government statement said.
No NZDF personnel were in Kabul at the time of the explosions and no New Zealand evacuees were left within Kabul airport. According to preliminary numbers, at least 276 New Zealand nationals and permanent residents, their families and other visa holders were evacuated, it said.


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