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‘We’ve been forgotten’: the British embassy security guard in Kabul | Afghanistan

Abdullah*, 34, was a security guard for the British embassy, employed below contract by GardaWorld, and had a senior administration function, taking care of different domestically employed embassy guards. He and about 180 colleagues had hoped to be evacuated to the UK at the finish of August, however the evacuation was stopped by a bomb at the airport. The Overseas, Commonwealth and Growth Workplace (FCDO) made a transparent dedication that each one GardaWorld workers can be allowed to journey to the UK, however this has not occurred.

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Afghanistan: the left behind

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Afghanistan: the left behind

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The crowds preventing to get into Kabul airport for evacuation dispersed months in the past,
however whereas the scramble to go away Taliban-controlled Afghanistan turned
much less seen when the final international troops left in August 2021, it received no
much less determined.

Since then, reprisal killings have frequently been reported from throughout the nation, together with dozens detailed in a recent report from Human Rights Watch.

For these nonetheless in Afghanistan, residing in hiding or in everlasting concern for months now, the risks appear to be rising as the choices for escape slim.

The UK authorities has tightened guidelines for its ARAP visa programme for former staff.

A second scheme providing a path to security to a wider part of Afghans in danger was heavily promoted by the authorities however it solely began operating this month, and there aren’t any particulars of how people can apply.

And whereas the Taliban
have largely saved a promise to permit these with tickets and paperwork
to fly out, Afghan passports are tough to safe , visas are even
more difficult, and flights are nonetheless prohibitively costly.

This
collection options the tales of those that are trapped, in Afghanistan or
in limbo as they seek for secure haven, fearing for his or her lives from
Taliban assaults or via starvation as a result of they can not work.

Emma Graham-Harrison

Thanks on your suggestions.

We’ve heard nothing from the House Workplace or the FCDO and life is turning into very arduous for everybody who labored for the British embassy. Surviving when there is no such thing as a earnings and no work could be very tough. We’re nonetheless hoping we’ll get an e mail about evacuation plans, however we haven’t heard something. The UK authorities helps footballers and writers to go away the nation, however there has been no assist for us. We really feel like we ought to be first in line as a result of we risked our lives for the British authorities. It’s an enormous disappointment for all of us.

All of the guards from the French embassy have been evacuated; the German and Australian governments are nonetheless evacuating embassy workers now; the Canadian authorities has even evacuated the cleaners and carpenters; however the British embassy, which was one in all the largest embassies in Kabul, has left us. We marvel why we’ve been forgotten. Do they see us as a risk to them?

Most of us have already bought our possessions – televisions, carpets, every little thing – in order that we’ve received cash to purchase meals. Individuals are out on the streets promoting issues each day, however you may’t get a lot on your issues, you must settle for about 30% of the actual worth. I’ve bought our automobile, and have managed to get the landlord to halve our hire from $400 to $200 a month, and I’m fortunate to have a brother in the UK who is ready to ship a bit of cash to help us. However every little thing has turn into so costly in the markets, the cash gained’t final lengthy.

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One in every of the guards known as me final week, crying, and mentioned he had bought every little thing aside from the cell he was speaking on; he mentioned he was holding it so he might verify for an e mail from the British authorities with information of an evacuation plan. We’re sending emails each day, however they simply say: you must wait. My daughter is 4 and a half, and ought to be going to nursery, however there’s nothing. We maintain her and her brother, who’s two and a half, at residence most of the time as a result of it doesn’t really feel secure to exit. If anybody discovered I had labored for the British authorities it could be very harmful; one in all my former colleagues has already been badly overwhelmed. We don’t go away the home fairly often now.

A UK authorities spokesperson mentioned: “The authorities will honour its commitments to resettle these British Council employees and GardaWorld staff who’re in danger.”

*The identify has been modified for this text.

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