Earlier this year, not only did the French but the British quietly begin bringing interpreters and Afghan staff to the UK. As early as 17 May, the British Resettlement Service wrote to the interpreters: “Make sure you and the relatives invited to travel with you are prepared.” The British have now recaptured about 2,000 people.
The British have been working for months with the UN refugee agency IOM to transport vulnerable interpreters and their families from across Afghanistan to Kabul, according to mail sent. “We ask that you be ready in two to four weeks.”
Various military sources assert that such an urgent email was never sent to interpreters who worked with the Netherlands. “We’ve been working for months to break through the defense and foreign affairs bureaucracy,” said Anne-Marie Snells, former president of the AFMP. “We had to register each translator and his family separately in the Ministry of Defense, after which they remained silent for long periods. No evacuation plan or crisis scenario was ever drawn up,” he added.
stuck in the city
The British now pick up about a thousand people every day in Kabul. They succeeded in this, among other things, because they were able to arrange transportation from the city to the airport. This is the main problem of the Dutch operation in Kabul at the moment. Many Dutch people are stuck in the city and cannot or dare not travel to the airport because the access road is controlled by the Taliban. In addition, the American security guards at the airport hardly let anyone in.
In recent months, the Netherlands has brought in at least 40 interpreters and their family members from Afghanistan. The British and French also brought other Afghans to their country, such as cooks and drivers. In the Netherlands, this has been a point of discussion between the House of Representatives and the Council of Ministers until this week. When asked if the Netherlands had started preparations too late, Minister Kaj replied this afternoon that an “accelerated process” had been carried out in recent months: “I wouldn’t be wrong about a simple comparison.”