More than 600 laggers evacuated from Afghanistan since September

In recent months, the Netherlands has evacuated more than 600 people from Afghanistan, mainly via Qatar (352) and Pakistan (221). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms this after reporting by the AD.

It concerns people who were left behind after the military evacuation mission from Kabul, in which around 2500 people were collected in August. Evacuating them proved complicated, due to the changed security situation in Afghanistan as a result of the Talibans takeover of power.

In October, the outgoing cabinet said it was committed to picking up another 2100 Afghans. This included interpreters who worked for the Netherlands, the EU or NATO and about 320 inhabitants of the Netherlands, who, for example, were on family visits at the time of the takeover of power. So, about 1500 people still have to be picked up from that group.

Passport

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that the Netherlands remains committed to evacuation of the remaining Afghans and Dutch people who are eligible for evacuation according to the Dutch criteria. โ€œThe process of mapping those people is still in full swing,โ€ said the ministry.

A major challenge here is the possession of an identity document. The Taliban demands that people who want to leave Afghanistan have a passport, but many Afghans do not have it. Applying for a passport is not without danger: for example, the long lines for government offices have proved to be a target for terrorists.

Evacuation could be better

Two weeks ago, an investigation firm, hired by the outgoing cabinet, ruled that the evacuation of Afghans could have been better. For example, the researchers found that in the run-up to the crisis, care was more important than speed for a long time. That is, โ€œin times of crisis, an obstacle,โ€ the researchers concluded.

In doing so, the ministries involved played a lot that the Talibans advance was faster than expected. โ€œEspecially the moment of Kabuls fall came as an unpleasant surprise to many.โ€ On top of that, the information position of the Netherlands deteriorated and โ€œThe Netherlands knew about the last that the other countries had already retreated to the airportโ€.

Ceit correspondent Daisy Mohr recently spoke to the evacuated Najla in Qatar, whose Dutch man was killed by the Taliban: