This content was released on May 31, 2021 – 20:47
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace announced on Monday that he was accelerating the transfer of local personnel serving in Afghanistan to the UK, fearing retaliation from the Taliban after the next withdrawal of NATO troops.
“When we withdraw our armed forces, it is only fair to expedite the relocation of those who are the target of retaliation,” Wallace said in a statement.
The Minister promised to “do everything possible to” put translators and other local officials “at risk” who risked their lives to work with British forces in Afghanistan, and praised the Kingdom’s huge “debt”. they.
London, which has already displaced 1,358 Afghans in 20 years of conflict, has promised to give priority to any local worker threatened in early April, whether he is still working in the UK or not.
But thousands of professionals and their families involved are still waiting for the latest NATO forces to withdraw from Afghanistan, including 750 British soldiers.
“We have a moral obligation to recognize the risks they have taken in the fight against terrorism and to reward their efforts,” stressed British Home Secretary Priti Patel, who “promised to fulfill that duty by providing an opportunity to create a new life.”
The British government estimates the number of translators who can travel to the UK with their families is 3,000.
Retired Colonel Simon Dickins, a member of the Sulha Coalition of Afghan Translators, celebrated the move, although he criticized in a statement to the AFP the lack of clarity on the status of translators fired by the British military, who may have excluded 1,010 people between 2001 and 2014.
Sixteen organizations, including the Sulha coalition of NATO countries, in a letter to allies called for “immediate protection for threatened Afghan officials and their families” and expressed concern over the firm implementation of the measures.
According to the letter, translators “fear that they will be dropped, not only because of the conflict of standards, but also because of the poor security situation, and the inability to attend interviews and obtain documents in a timely manner.”