LIVE Bijleveld finds it incomprehensible that Afghans have gone back

Chaos and fear in Afghanistan as the radical Taliban have taken over the country at lightning speed. Much to the dismay of the locals and the international community. It led to major chaos during evacuation emissions from Kabul airport, with two attacks claimed by IS, as a dramatic low. Follow the situation in Afghanistan here via our live blog.

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15.44 โ€” First hundred evacuees abandoned army place of Harskamp

The first hundred evacuees from Afghanistan leave Harskamp army site Friday afternoon in the village of the same name on the Veluwe. They‘re going to Heumensoord near Nijmegen. Pavilions have been built up in that nature reserve as emergency shelters. The evacuees who previously stayed at the Marine Establishment in Amsterdam are also housed at Heumensoord.

The first Afghan evacuees arrived in Harskamp on Tuesday last week. Eight hundred places were cleared for them in barracks in the army. The same night riots broke out in front of the army site gate. Mostly young people objected to the unexpected arrival of the refugees. It’s been quiet around the army town ever since. The police have extra surveillance.

According to the Central Body of Asylum Seekers (COA), about 650 people are now staying in the army, including two hundred small children. According to the COA location manager, it is a quiet group of people who are happy to help Defence and the COA, as stated in a letter that was delivered in Harskamp on Friday afternoon. The letter is distributed as there was a lot of criticism of the lack of information in the small Veluwe village. That would have been a cause for the riots on the first night.

The evacuees had to quarantine immediately after they arrived in the Netherlands due to the corona measures. That quarantine expires this weekend, the COA says. โ€œSome people are looking forward to taking part in public life again, for example taking a walk or doing their own groceries. Volunteers will guide them in the area. Most people speak English.โ€

The COA cannot tell how long the emergency shelter in Harskamp will remain in use. Defence needs the training ground itself urgently, but the COA expects evacuees to live in the coming months. Defence is now practicing out of earshot from the refugees, but can only use the terrain once everyone has left. The Immigration and Naturalization Service IND finds out where all refugees belong permanently.

13.43 โ€” Bijleveld finds it incomprehensible that Afghans have gone back

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Demissionary Minister Ank Bijleveld (Defence) considers it โ€œincomprehensibleโ€ that Afghans fleed to the Netherlands have returned to their native country. When the evacuation was in progress, the cabinet was surprised by the large number of Dutch people who stayed in Afghanistan despite negative travel advice for that country.

โ€œI find it incomprehensible sometimes that people, while they fled here, eventually went there, when the situation was not right,โ€ said Bijleveld on Friday before the Council of Ministers began. Defense has brought more than 2,500 people from Afghanistan, but there are hundreds of straddles.

Last week, more than 1250 Dutch people were found to be staying in Afghanistan. It would mostly be people with Afghan roots who were on family visits. There were scheduled flights to Afghanistan until recently. Turkey and Qatar are now trying to make Kabul airport operational again.

The cabinet wants to pick up Dutch and Afghans who are allowed to come here as soon as possible. Foreign Affairs reports that they have about 600 people in the picture who are talking about help leaving Afghanistan. These include Dutch people, status holders and family members who are eligible for family reunification.

Bijleveld says her ministry has contact with Afghans who worked for Defense. When evacuation from the Afghan capital Kabul was forced to stop last week, there were thirty interpreters who worked for the Dutch mission in Afghanistan, according to Bijleveld.

The Americans announced in April that their troops would leave Afghanistan after twenty years. The deadline was mentioned September 11th. In the following months, the radical Islamic Taliban took over one district after another. To the surprise of the West and many visiting Afghans, they captured Kabul in August.

10.42 โ€” Afghan airline resumes flights Friday

The Afghan airline Ariana announced that it will fly again in Afghanistan itself on Friday. It‘s the oldestairline of the country and has five aircraft as far as known. Ariana’s site says there‘s a flight from Kabul to Kandahar on Friday. Based on the Flightradar24 site, a plane from Abu Dhabi landed in Kabul on Friday morning.

The United Nations has meanwhile announced that there are flights with relief supplies and medicines to Afghanistan from Islamabad (Pakistan) again. The UN has chosen Mazar-i-Sharif airports to the north and Kandahar to the southeast.

Recently, the UN flew medical aid to Mazar-i-Sharif with an aircraft from the Afghan company Kam Air. The reopening of Kabul Airport is still under way. Technical assistance has been flown in from Qatar for that.

Civil aviation almost completely stopped after the Taliban intake of the capital Kabul on 15 August. About ten days ago, all non-military flights to or from Kabul were shut down by the Afghan aviation authorities.

6.30 – At least 17,000 Afghans await German bases on flight to US

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least 17,000 Afghan refugees are waiting for US military bases in Germany on a flight to the United States. General Tod Wolters, the US troop commander in Europe, said in a video call with journalists on Thursday that the refugees are currently being checked and one suspicious person has so far been arrested as a result of those checks.

At the Ramstein Air Base in western Germany, there are currently 12,000 Afghan refugees who have been evacuated from Kabul in recent weeks. Some 5,000 Afghans are temporarily housed at another US army base in the country, Rhine Ordnance Barracks. They are located in tents and hangars on the airport grounds.

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According to Wolters, US army bases in Italy and Spain currently house 4300 Afghan refugees pending controls. Refugees are checked twice before they fly to the US: once upon arrival at the army bases, again before leaving for the US. A suspicious person is in custody but โ€œdoes not pose a serious threat.โ€

The general praises the help of the German, Spanish and Italian authorities, of whom he receives โ€œ100 percentโ€ support. A total of 123,000 people would have been taken from Kabul after the Taliban came to power.

6.25 โ€” President Biden visits injured military personnel in hospital

US President Joe Biden visited the military personnel injured in the attack in the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday. Biden visited the injured military personnel at Walter Reed military hospital in Bethesda, reports the White House in a statement.

Biden was joined by his wife Jill during his visit. On Sunday, Biden and his wife were also at a ceremony at a military base, commemorating the thirteen American soldiers who died in the attack.

The president said last week he had โ€œsome realizationโ€ of the loss the families felt. He was referring to the loss of his son Beau Biden, who served in the army and later died of brain cancer. He was cared for at Walter Reed hospital for a long time. โ€œYou get the feeling of being sucked into a black hole, there’s no way out,โ€ Biden said. โ€œI feel your pain.โ€

Also listen to the defence and international security podcast Delta Tango with Afghanistan veteran Ludy de Vos: