Afghanistan Finland’s evacuation pace accelerated considerably after the security forces arrived in Kabul – Foreign Minister Haavisto: Almost half of those to be evacuated

According to Foreign Minister Haavisto, there have been days when the situation outside the airport has been so dangerous that it has not been possible to invite evacuees there.

Finland has evacuated a total of about 110 people from Kabul.

Foreign minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) said at a press conference at the Foreign Ministry on Sunday evening that the operational capacity of the Finnish five-member relief team, which coordinated the evacuation at Kabul Airport, multiplied on Saturday when it was confirmed by the Defense Forces. The security team has been a great help, Haavisto thanked.

“The result would not have been possible without these security forces,” the minister said.

The Foreign Ministry announced on Sunday evening that a dozen people were evacuated from Kabul on Saturday, and a group of 52 people was taken from Kabul for evacuation flights on Sunday.

According to Haavisto, many of the embassy’s current or former employees with an Afghan background are among those now evacuated to Finland.

“They come with their families. The youngest newcomer, as far as I know, is a couple of weeks old,” Haavisto said.

Finland has said that it is trying to evacuate a total of about 240 people from Afghanistan. Of these, 70 are Finnish citizens or permanent residents of Finland and about 170 people who have worked for Finland, the EU and NATO and their families.

“Almost half of the Finnish citizens and foreigners permanently residing in Finland in need of emergency assistance have now been granted safety,” Haavisto said.

Haaviston according to the situation in Kabul is very fragile. The security situation at the airport is deteriorating day by day.

So far, according to the Foreign Ministry, there have been no major military contacts. However, small-scale clashes and increased home searches have been reported in the city.

Chief of Staff of the General Staff Kari Nisula said at the press conference that the security situation in the airport area has been in line with Finland’s estimates.

According to Nisula, Finnish forces operate at Kabul Airport and in its immediate vicinity.

At Kabul Airport, security threats are mainly caused by large crowds and the chaotic situation. For example, young children have drowned from their parents. According to Haavisto, information about the possibility of terrorist attacks must also be taken into account in the vicinity of the airport.

For evacuees efforts have been made to keep in touch through various means and to let them know when it would be a good time to arrive on the field.

“Yesterday it was known that two underage girls were coming to Finland. The only sign given to them was a blue scarf,” Haavisto said and described finding the girls to look for a needle in a haystack.

“Fortunately, these two underage girls were evacuated.”

Several countries, including Germany and the United States, which manages Kabul International Airport, have instructed their evacuees not to enter the airport.

Read more: Do not come to Kabul Airport, the US and Germany are warning those to be evacuated

Haavisto also said on Sunday night that there have been days when the situation outside the airport has been so dangerous that it has not been possible to invite evacuees there.

“People have been trampled there alive. There has been such congestion and ryysis. Of course, we cannot responsibly urge you to come there at such a moment. This has been one of the difficulties, ”Haavisto said.

Haaviston according to how long the evacuation work can continue is a factor dependent on the United States.

“It has been hoped that the operations in the partner countries will end by August 27, leaving some days for the United States to complete its own evacuation.

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