Three Belgian military planes are flying to Islamabad today to evacuate people from Afghanistan. I left a prep flight yesterday. There are 16 Belgians on board a Dutch C-17 that departed from Kabul.
After the United States, the Netherlands, France and Germany have already deployed evacuation flights, the first Belgian plane flew into the air on Tuesday. That defense reports. The Belgian plane will first go to Islamabad in Pakistan, where the Belgian embassy is also located, and from there it will make several evacuation flights to Kabul.
The first plane, the Falcon 7X, took off at 4 pm yesterday with a preparatory and consular team on board. Three transport aircraft – two C130s and one A400M – will follow today, which will carry out the evacuations. A team of 15 soldiers also travels with her. At 11 am the first C130 took off from the military airfield in Melsbroek, and the second followed half an hour later. Finally, the A400M leaves at 3 p.m.
The transport aircraft can accommodate 60 (C130) and 100 (A400M) people at a time. The intention is to evacuate all those involved from Kabul to Islamabad within a few days and then bring them from Islamabad to Belgium.
Defense Minister Ludivine Didonder said that “the evacuation process is not taking place in isolation, but in coordination with other countries on the ground.” We have promised the US military to secure the airport.”
human rights activists
It has already become clear in recent days who exactly qualifies for eviction. It is about 100 Belgians and their Afghan families and about 40 Afghan translators or mediators who once worked in the Belgian or any other European army. In addition, the government also wants to bring human rights activists and humanitarian workers to our country. Minister of State for Asylum and Migration Sami Mahdi (CD&V) wants to grant all evacuees through Belgium a humanitarian visa.
The Dutch Defense Minister reports that 16 Belgians have already been evacuated on a Dutch plane. A French evacuation plane did take a Belgian with him yesterday.
Minister of State for Asylum and Migration Sami Mahdi wants to grant a humanitarian visa to all evacuees through Belgium.
With images of chaos at Kabul airport in mind, the question arises of how the operation will unfold. On Monday, the United States, which controls the airport, suspended air traffic due to the large crowds on the runways. In the meantime, planes can land and take off again, but the chaos and unpredictability is still great.
About 100 people travel on military flights to oversee the operation. For security reasons, the mod doesn’t want to say anything about the group’s configuration and exact size. The consular team, who has already traveled to Pakistan on Tuesday, will form the link between the Belgian embassy in Islamabad and the authorities at Kabul airport. They will also be responsible for receiving passengers. The military team is working on the site to make the necessary contacts with the local authorities to facilitate the movement between Kabul and Islamabad.
There are no guarantees that everyone who is entitled will be evacuated. Evacuating people who have already arrived at Kabul airport is one thing, doing the same with many others still hiding somewhere. “We now have an overview of who has requested assistance through our embassy in Islamabad,” the State Department said. “In an emergency like this, you can never give strong guarantees, but we hope we can get these people away as soon as possible.”
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