VIDEOThe Netherlands will stop evacuating people from Afghanistan today. The operation at the airport of the capital Kabul will be stopped at the direction of the Americans, the cabinet has informed the House of Representatives. There would be a terrorist threat.
Tobias den Hartog, Hanneke Keultjes
Aug 26, 2021
“In the light of the rapidly deteriorating situation at and around the airport, evacuees from the Netherlands can unfortunately no longer be assisted in accessing the airport,” the cabinet writes in a statement. letter to the House of Representatives. “This is a painful moment because it means that despite all the great efforts of the past period, people who are eligible for evacuation to the Netherlands will remain behind.”
The letter, signed by outgoing ministers Ank Bijleveld (Defence), Sigrid Kaag (Foreign Affairs) and State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol (Asylum), states that the departure plan of the embassy team and the military has come into effect. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it has become too dangerous at the airport in the Afghan capital and the gates of the airport are closed. Dutch and Afghans still waiting for a flight were urged to move to a safe location elsewhere, and it is strongly advised not to come to the airport.
“Every effort is being made to bring the several hundred people who are now inside the gates of the airport on the flights scheduled for today. The soldiers present and the embassy team will depart with the last flights themselves.” However, the cabinet has agreed with allies who are still flying on that they will take people with them ‘if necessary’ who have the Netherlands as their final destination.
The cabinet says that the Netherlands will try to get those left behind here at a later date. To that end, it keeps a C-130 aircraft on standby in the region, ‘if opportunities arise to bring extra people from Kabul to safety, contrary to current expectations’.
According to US authorities, the situation at the airport has become increasingly chaotic and dangerous in recent days and hours. The British defense secretary said there is “very, very reliable information” about an imminent attack at the airport.
Earlier, three buses with Dutch people still managed to enter the international airport of Kabul. The buses had to wait more than 24 hours at the airport gate before being allowed onto the site. There were a total of about 120 people with a Dutch passport on the buses, but the Ministry of Defense in The Hague cannot say whether they left Kabul.
August 31 deadline
The Taliban ordered the Americans to leave Kabul airport on August 31. This means that the troops, numbering thousands of soldiers, must still fly out of Afghanistan before that time. Sources already took into account on Monday that the Dutch evacuation mission should be completed by the end of the week. Several countries have already stopped their airlift. France announced this morning that it would stop evacuating, and Belgium no longer carries out flights.
Watch our videos about the situation in Afghanistan in the playlist below:
Free unlimited access to Showbytes? Which can!
Log in or create an account and don’t miss out on any of the stars.