Boris Johnson and other world leaders have received assurances from the Taliban that foreign nationals and those authorized to flee Afghanistan will be free to leave as tensions and bloodshed rise in the streets of Kabul.
On Sunday, US forces launched a military strike on a vehicle said to be carrying “multiple suicide bombers” from the local Islamic State affiliate planning to attack Kabul airport. According to some reports, a child was killed in a second explosion.
A significant number of British citizens told The Guardian that they continued to wait at the airport in hopes of being rescued despite terror threats and the departure of all UK troops over the weekend. They sent video footage of several British passports fastened and asking for help. Desperate Afghans have been told to cross the border into neighboring countries to escape the Taliban takeover.
On Monday, the UN security council is expected to discuss the Taliban’s assurances, revealed in a statement Sunday night, following growing concern over the plight of thousands of Afghans with Western ties who are under their control. mercy.
France and Britain were expected to present an emergency resolution from the UN security council calling for any new Afghan government to back a safe zone at Kabul airport to allow evacuation efforts to continue, Emmanuel Macron said, although one source de Whitehall claimed that the French president’s comments were “premature.” ”.
In a joint statement issued Sunday by the UK government along with the United States and more than 90 countries, it was confirmed that the Taliban had said that anyone wishing to leave the country could do so, although the regime’s promises will be met with skepticism. .
The joint statement read: “We have received assurances from the Taliban that all foreign nationals and any Afghan national with travel authorization from our countries will be able to proceed safely and in an orderly manner to the points of departure and travel out of the country.”
Last week, the Taliban caused a stir by acting to prevent Afghans from leaving the country, declaring that the route to Kabul airport was open only to foreigners. Western forces have been trying to evacuate Afghans who have supported operations abroad because they fear that they and their families could be tortured and killed for working with Western powers during the 20-year war.
The latest guarantees from the Taliban are part of delicate negotiations as the new regime seeks to work with foreign governments. Johnson said on Sunday that if the regime wanted diplomatic recognition and aid funds, it would have to guarantee “safe passage” for those who want to leave.
In a later development, Britain is urged to spearhead an international appeal for “cash” to finance refugee camps in countries bordering Afghanistan. John Healey, the shadow defense secretary, said ministers have failed to engage critical partners in the region to avoid the current crisis despite knowing for months that the pullout would come this year.
“Britain must lead international efforts to get neighboring countries to establish safe haven camps. There has to be cash on the table to fund safe haven camps and the countries that are willing to accept them. “
It comes after UK troops evacuated 15,000 people from Afghanistan over the course of nearly two weeks under Operation Pitting, which is believed to be the largest evacuation mission since World War II.
However, Whitehall sources believe that up to 9,000 people with ties to the UK government could be left behind. The remainder are expected to reach a third country such as Pakistan, Uzbekistan or Tajikistan to be resettled in Great Britain.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism