In a first since August 31 pullout, four Americans evacuated from Afghanistan
Less than a week after the US withdrew its last soldier from Afghanistan – ending its 20-year-long presence in the country — at least four Americans who were left behind were evacuated into a bordering nation, a US state department official told Reuters on Monday. This marked the first US-facilitated overland evacuation since all its troops pulled out from the now Taliban-controlled Afghanistan on August 31.
“We have facilitated the departure of four American citizens from Afghanistan via an overland route. Our embassy greeted the Americans as they crossed the border into the third country,” the officials noted without divulging any additional information, including the country they were evacuated to.
US Congressional Representative Ronny Jackson confirmed the evacuation on Twitter, and also identified the four Americans as part of his constituent district in Texas. He added that the evacuation was successfully executed “after two weeks and multiple life-threatening attempts.”
Notably, following the US troops and other Western forces withdrawing from Afghanistan – which is now witnessing battle between the Taliban fighters and Northern Alliance resistance force over Panjshir Valley —thousands of at-risk Afghans are looking at land evacuation to flee the Islamist insurgents’ regime.
Furthermore, the US state department on Sunday also published a declaration by nearly 100 nations committed to aiding Afghans to reach destinations outside of their homeland. However, none of them have signed it up, according to the Reuters report.
Among the countries that border Afghanistan are Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Pakistan.
The Reuters report added that Tajikistan has pledged to take in 100,000 Afghan refugees, while Uzbekistan has said they would permit Americans and others to use its territory for transit in order to depart from Afghanistan.
Since the August 31 pull out, world organisations including Nato have been focussed on continuing with the evacuation of Afghans left behind.
Nato chief Jens Stolenberg said last week that they “will not forget” the Afghan nationals, who wished to fly out of Afghanistan, but were unable to when the evacuation was on. “We will continue to work with Nato allies and other countries to help people leave. The Taliban has clearly stated that people will be allowed to leave, we will judge the Taliban not on what they say, but by what they do,” he added.
Meanwhile, EU commissioner for home affairs, Ylva Johansson has announced that a high-level Resettlement Forum will be convened this month to “discuss concrete priorities with member states and provide sustainable solutions to those Afghans who are most vulnerable, particularly women and children.”
She pointed out that the EU will cooperate with other global leaders for a “safe and legal route for resettlement.”