Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

British ex-soldier is ARRESTED by the Taliban as his bid to evacuate 400 Afghans fails

135

A former British soldier has been arrested by the Taliban while trying to evacuate 400 Afghans.

Ben Slater, 37, was thrown in jail Thursday morning and questioned about members of his 50 employees, most of whom are single women, staying in hotel rooms near a border checkpoint.

The former member of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee runs a chain of NGOs in Afghanistan and had attempted to evacuate his personnel across a land border after failing to secure a place for them and their families on the British airlift from Kabul.

However, his mission failed after a carriage with the staff was sent away from a land border. It is not clear which country the coach tried to cross.

Slater was released later on Thursday and was told he could cross the border with one aide, but that the rest of his staff must remain in Afghanistan. The Telegraph reported.

The incident comes amid concerns that the Taliban may not comply with a promise to let people leave the country.

On Sunday, the Taliban assured a group of 100 countries that they would continue to allow foreigners and Afghans with foreign travel documents to leave.

Ben Slater (pictured) was thrown in jail Thursday morning and questioned about members of his 50 employees, most of whom are single women, staying in hotel rooms near a border checkpoint.

“We have received assurances from the Taliban that all foreigners and any Afghan citizen with travel authorization from our countries may proceed to the departure points and travel outside the country in a safe and orderly manner,” the group, including the United States, said. the United Kingdom and France, in a statement.

“We are all committed to ensuring that our citizens, nationals and residents, employees, Afghans who have worked with us and those at risk can continue to travel freely to destinations outside Afghanistan,” the statement added, which was also signed. by the European Union and NATO.

The group said it would continue to provide travel documents to “designated Afghans,” adding that “we have the clear expectation and commitment from the Taliban that they can travel to our respective countries.”

Russia and China were not among the signatories to the document.

However, the international community remains concerned about the sincerity of the Taliban’s promise, as many of those attempting to flee do so out of fear of retaliation from the militants.

Prior to the end of the US airlift and the subsequent closure of the Kabul airport, there were reports that the Taliban prevented people from traveling to the airport area, effectively allowing them to escape.

Slater told The Telegraph that he will now try to get visas for his staff from the UK or another western country.

Slater again appealed to the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to help them out of Afghanistan.

The attempt came amid concerns that leaving Afghanistan by land will be nearly impossible due to closed borders, abandoned foreign embassies and Taliban checkpoints.

The attempt came amid concerns that leaving Afghanistan by land will be nearly impossible due to closed borders, abandoned foreign embassies and Taliban checkpoints.

“The final blow to the operation is that today the UK is only granting myself and one of my executive assistants across the border, and they have not even suggested that they issue the visas for part or the rest of my group,” he told. The Telegraph.

“It’s actually a complete disaster. It’s disgusting. It’s beyond awful.’

The FCDO has advised British citizens still in Afghanistan to return to the UK via a third country.

However, Kabul airport is not operational after the US withdrawal on Monday and the British government has not made any agreements with countries sharing a land border with Afghanistan to facilitate escape routes before the fall of Kabul on August 15.

Getting Kabul’s airport back up and running is critical, and on Thursday Qatar confirmed it was working with the Taliban to reopen the airport “as soon as possible.”

‘We are working very hard’ [and] we continue to hope that we can exploit it as soon as possible’

“Hopefully we will hear good news in the coming days,” Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said on Thursday.

“It is very important … that the Taliban demonstrate their commitment to provide safe passage and freedom of movement for the people of Afghanistan,” he said at a joint press conference with his British counterpart Dominic Raab in Doha.

Sheikh Mohammed said Qatar is working with the Taliban “to identify the gaps and the risks when the airport is back up and running.”

Kabul International Airport has been closed to normal traffic since August 16, the day after the Taliban took control of Kabul.  Military flights and evacuations continued until August 31, when US troops left the country and left the runway without air traffic controllers.  Pictured: Taliban walk in front of a military plane at Kabul airport the day after US withdrawal

Kabul International Airport has been closed to normal traffic since August 16, the day after the Taliban took control of Kabul. Military flights and evacuations continued until August 31, when US troops left the country and left the runway without air traffic controllers. Pictured: Taliban walk in front of a military plane at Kabul airport the day after US withdrawal

Sheikh Mohammed's comments came after a technical team from Qatar flew to Kabul on Wednesday to discuss the reopening of the airport, the first plane (pictured) to land there since the evacuations

Sheikh Mohammed’s comments came after a technical team from Qatar flew to Kabul on Wednesday to discuss the reopening of the airport, the first plane (pictured) to land there since the evacuations

Sheikh Mohammed’s comments came after a Qatar tech team flew to Kabul on Wednesday to discuss reopening the airport, the first plane to land there since the evacuations.

At Thursday’s press conference, Sheikh Mohammed . said also urged the Taliban to fulfill their promise to allow Afghans and foreigners to leave the country free once the airport reopens.

The future of the airport is critical not only for potentially enabling people to leave the country, but also for bringing aid in.

Before Trying To Leave Afghansitan, Slater Shared His plans with the FCDO and the Ministry of Defense in the hope that he would get help as soon as possible.

The attempt came amid concerns that leaving Afghanistan by land will be nearly impossible due to closed borders, abandoned foreign embassies and Taliban checkpoints.

According to the Telegraph, Mr. Slater had already helped dozens of Afghans flee the country, but was unable to arrange assistance for his staff, who he said are at risk of retaliation from the Taliban.

Before attempting to escape, Slater described himself as “massively abandoned” by the British government.

He told The Telegraph: ‘I was given an hour’s notice to send the names of my people, the vehicles and things like that.

“And that kind of seemed like it was set up in such a way that I would miss the deadline. But we did, and then it got a little quiet, and then there was a bit of ‘oh, you can’t come because you can’t get through the Taliban checkpoint.’

The former member of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (pictured) runs a chain of NGOs in Afghanistan and had attempted to evacuate his personnel across a land border after failing to secure a place for them and their families on the British airlift from Kabul

The former member of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (pictured) runs a chain of NGOs in Afghanistan and had attempted to evacuate his personnel across a land border after failing to secure a place for them and their families on the British airlift from Kabul

Slater ended up losing “his marbles” after apparently being transferred to an automated call center and put “back to zero.”

He says he then launched his own operation to rescue 400 Afghan citizens, including the 50 staff members and himself.

While the Taliban have given assurances that they will allow those fleeing their rule to leave the country unharmed, Slater fears that will not prove to be the case.

The Telegraph reported an FCDO spokesperson: ‘More than 15,000 people, including British citizens, our Afghan staff and others at risk, have been evacuated from Afghanistan by the UK since August 15 in one of the largest operations of its kind in history’ .

“We will continue to do everything we can to fulfill our obligation to get British citizens and eligible Afghans out of the country for as long as the security situation allows.”

.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.