Monday, April 22, 2024

Afghan crisis: Chaos as Europeans scramble to evacuate Kabul

Chaotic conditions have been reported outside Kabul airport as European governments rush to bring home their citizens as well as Afghan colleagues.

French, Dutch, German and Czech planes have all left Kabul in recent hours. Staff at the Dutch embassy were so taken by surprise by the Taliban arrival on Sunday they did not tell Afghan colleagues they were going.

Shots were reported outside the airport on Wednesday, as crowds waited to get in.

Local reports said several people were wounded near the north gate and the Taliban were preventing people from getting to the airport. While each European government is trying to airlift its own nationals as well as Afghan support staff, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, has said “we cannot abandon [Afghan colleagues] and we are doing everything we can to offer them shelter in the EU”.

France has revealed it has flown to safety 25 French nationals and 184 Afghans “in need of protection”. On board the flight to Abu Dhabi were four Dutch nationals, an Irish citizen and two Kenyans.

While France is using Abu Dhabi as an air bridge, Germany is using Uzbekistan for its operations. A second flight was heading to Tashkent on Wednesday after an initial plane arrived in Frankfurt on Tuesday evening.

A Czech plane landed in Prague carrying 87 people including Ambassador Jiri Baloun and dozens of Afghans who had helped Czech officials.

Source: BBC News

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