Dubai, August 19, 2021 (AFP) – Dozens of passengers who fled Afghanistan have arrived in Dubai thanks to evacuations to the United Kingdom organized by British authorities.
An AFP reporter found that new arrivals at Al Maktoum Airport, including families, mostly dress in traditional Afghan clothing, stop in the Emirates before heading to the UK.
“They are impatient to get off the plane and rest,” an airport official told AFP after helping them get off the plane. AFP was not allowed to take pictures of the refugees’ faces or speak to them.
Since the Taliban took power on Sunday, many Afghans and foreigners have tried to flee the Islamic fundamentalist movement.
On Monday, at Kabul airport, the only gateway out of the country, scenes of chaos were seen with people desperate to flee and people clinging to the sides of planes in mid-air.
On the runway and boarding at Dubai Airport, some passengers were checking Victory in front of journalists’ cameras, while girls and women waited at the airport with their only luggage in black garbage bags.
A little earlier, an RAF plane took off from the same airport bound for the UK with the evacuees from Afghanistan.
– Hurdles – In all, the UK has evacuated 306 Britons and 2,052 Afghans “in complete safety,” according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. London has ensured that the evacuations will continue.
Given the gravity of the situation, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace pledged to “review visa applications from Afghans who have cooperated with British forces as quickly as possible”, and “change the rules” whenever possible to speed up the process.
The British military was part of the US-led coalition that invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to oust the Taliban accused of harboring the organizers of the 9/11 attack on al-Qaeda in the country.
Since the return of the Taliban to power, the forces present in Afghanistan have organized the departure of their citizens.
The Pentagon reported that the US Air Force has already evacuated 7,000 people. Among them, according to other sources, there are about 2,000 Afghan refugees. In total, the United States hopes to evacuate more than 30,000 people from the country, through its bases in Kuwait and Qatar.
In Kabul, the Taliban controls the area around the airport, which the United States has criticized for blocking entry to thousands of Afghans wishing to leave the country.
The memory of the brutality of the Taliban regime between 1996 and 2001 is very present among those who want to flee, especially with regard to human rights. They do not trust the promises made by radical Islamists in recent days.
The Taliban imposed a strict Jewish view of Islamic law during their rule, which restricted women’s rights, banned entertainment such as music and films, and restricted religious education.
mah-aem / vg / grp / mb / jc
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