Britain accelerates Afghanistan’s resettlement plans as troops withdraw

The British government has confirmed that Afghan resettlement plans, which have supported British troops, will be accelerated.

Afghanistan’s Migration and Assistance Policy (ARAP) announced in December 2020 and Released on April 1stIs designed to protect Afghan staff at risk of retaliation from the Taliban after British troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

The United Kingdom has deployed approximately 750 troops in Afghanistan as part of its 10,000 NATO mission. US and NATO troops have left the country since May 1, and the withdrawal is expected to be completed within a few months.

“Following the decision to initiate the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the Prime Minister has agreed with the Ministry of Defense, the Interior Ministry, the Housing, Communities and Local Governments to accelerate applications quickly through policy,” the British government said. Said in a statement.

Defense Minister Ben Wallace told the media on Monday that the risk to Afghan personnel has increased as Western troops left.

“Some people are at great risk … and we have already resettled hundreds of them,” Wallace said.

“As Western countries leave Afghanistan, the threat is increasing, with the Taliban’s targeted attacks on Afghanistan.”

Wallace does not call it evacuation, but said Britain’s support for these people was “absolutely right.”

“I do not classify this as an evacuation. This allows people to go to the United Kingdom for security and puts those who have supported and supported the British Army and the British Government for many years in Afghanistan at risk. I feel like I am, “he said. “And it is absolutely right for us to support those people.”

Wallace said the British people “are very much looking forward to helping these people.” [who] We have often taken great risks to protect the men and women of our military. “

Wallace said the plan is expected to save “hundreds” of Afghan staff.

“But if you add the family, you have more than 3,000 people,” he said.

Under the ARAP, “Current or former locally hired staff assessed as having a significant life-threatening status will be given priority relocation to the United Kingdom regardless of employment status, rank or role, or length of service. It will be provided, “said the government. Guidelines read.

“Local staff who work or work in public who may be at risk as the security situation develops are regularly transferred to the UK, and for those who are not eligible for relocation, security advice, relocation, etc. Other support will be provided in Afghanistan. “

The policy is open indefinitely.

Ed Aitken, a veteran officer who founded the Sulha Alliance campaign group, said he was “happy” with the plan, but previously said he was “happy” to reject those who endangered his life and supported the British troops. Warned that there was a “low” hurdle.

“I’m happy with the current situation, but I’m concerned that some parts of this community remain vulnerable and there is a clear gap that they aren’t part of this policy,” said Helmand on two tours. Aitken told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” show.

Persons who have been dismissed from jobs equivalent to 1,010 employees (“about 35%” according to Aitken) are not eligible for transfer unless they are on a case-by-case basis.

He described the size of those who were discontinued as a “personnel management issue,” he added. “Comparing the hurdles for asylum seekers to be denied asylum in the UK, the hurdles are very high.

“Comparing the criteria for refusing to interpret in Afghanistan, it is clearly going to be set fairly low. [can prevent access to the scheme]”

The United States is reportedly working on a similar plan, but the United Kingdom is the only country to implement such a resettlement plan.

US President Joe Biden announced on April 14th that he would withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by September 11th. NATO Announced on the same day The withdrawal of troops began on May 1, and the withdrawal was completed within a few months.

Jack Phillips and PA contributed to this report.

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