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Taliban: 3 Kenya national evacuated from Kabul – nine others wait

 airport in Kabul afghanistan
Indians prepare to board an Indian military aircraft at the airport in Kabul on August 17, 2021. Hundreds are being evacuated from the country after Taliban’s stunning takeover of Afghanistan. Photo credit: AFP

Three Kenyans, who have been working in Afghanistan for different international organisations, have been evacuated from Kabul following the takeover of the city by the Taliban.

One of the three arrived in the country on Wednesday while the other two will be jetting into the country later tonight.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement said the three are part of 12 Kenyans have been working and living in the country as staff for the Swedish Committee (2), Supreme Audit Office-World Bank (2), International rescue committee (1), International Developmemnt Law Organisation (1), Danish Committee for Aid to Afghanistatn Refugees (1), MEDAIR (1), Action Contre La Faim (2), Handicap International (1) and Intersos (1).

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The ministry said it has written to the organisations requesting that they evacuate the stranded Kenyans as a matter of urgency.

“Further, the ministry communicated to respective foreign missions in Nairobi where the said organisations originate to urgently intervene to ensure evacuations of Kenyans to safety,” the statement added.

The government response comes after an uproar from a section of Kenyans, following the Monday announcement that it had left the employers of Kenyans working in Afghanistan to evacuate them from the now Taliban controlled Central Asian country.

Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau had said that due to lack of diplomatic representation in Afghanistan, the organisations that sent the Kenyans there must be the very ones to rescue stranded Kenyans. It drew the ire of some Kenyans online.

On Thursday, the Foreign Ministry said the High Commission in Pakistan, as well as missions in Beijing and Tehran; the three countries neighbouring Afghanistan will work with local authorities to see how the remaining Kenyans can be evacuated to safety.

The Taliban took over Kabul after the US withdrew its military deployment. The group, known for their past brutality against those who do not believe in their tough version of Islam, have this week promised to protect all foreign installations in Afghanistan. But it still suffers from a trust deficit, given how it made similar promises and violated them while in power between 1996 and 2001. Back then, they attacked an Iranian consulate and killed several diplomats.

Their sudden control for the country has led to mass evacuations as foreign workers rush to leave the country amid safety concerns.

It is feared that Taliban’s new-found control could lead to lawlessness in the country, as well as spelling security concerns for foreigners. 

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