The evacuation of diplomats, other foreigners and Afghans who had worked with them was being organized on Monday in an emergency and under very difficult conditions in Kabul, which had fallen into the hands of the Taliban. At the same time, thousands of Afghans gathered. gathered on the tarmac at the airport, in the hope of fleeing the country.
Staff from the US Embassy and many other embassies were gathered at the airport in the Afghan capital, secured by US soldiers, to be evacuated. Some have already all been able to leave Afghanistan, as have all Norwegian embassy staff, the Norwegian military said on Monday.
While commercial flights were canceled, Turkey sent a Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 to repatriate its nationals. The plane, with 324 people on board, landed in Istanbul in the afternoon. According to the Flightradar24 website, it was the only civilian plane to take off from Kabul on Monday.
Hanging from the wheels of the plane
A human tide rushed this Monday towards what is the only way out of Afghanistan, to try to escape the new regime that the Islamist movement, back in power after 20 years of war, promises to put in place. square.
Videos posted on social media showed scenes of complete panic, such as hundreds of people running near an American military transport plane that is taxiing to get into a take-off position, while some madly try to cling to it. its flanks or its wheels.
Others show thousands of people waiting on the tarmac itself and clusters of young men, mostly, clinging to catwalks or stairs in an attempt to get on a plane.
Two people killed
Two gunmen were killed by US soldiers at the airport. “Amidst the thousands of people who were there peacefully, two guys brandished their weapons threateningly. They were both killed,” a Pentagon official said.
The Americans sent 6,000 troops to evacuate some 30,000 people, including their diplomats as well as Afghan civilians who cooperated with the United States.
From Madrid to The Hague, via Paris, Bucharest, London …: everywhere, the chancelleries are busy sending air resources.
Harsh criticisms against the United States are swelling, including in the Western camp, after the Taliban seizure of power in Afghanistan which seals the failure of 20 years of military engagement by the Atlantic Alliance in this country .
The leader of the conservative party of Angela Merkel and candidate for his succession to the chancellery, spoke Monday of “the biggest debacle that NATO has suffered since its creation”.
“It is obvious that this commitment of the international community has not been crowned with success,” he insisted.
Armin Laschet, president of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of which he is the head of the list for the elections of September 26, called for “a crude analysis of the errors (…) in Germany, with the partners of the Alliance and within the international community “.
Le silence de Joe Biden
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will step down from power at the end of the legislative ballot, expressed her frustration on Monday over the situation in Afghanistan and cited “domestic policy” reasons for the US withdrawal.
Rarely, given the privileged relations between London and Washington, the government of Boris Johnson has openly criticized for several days the American decision to withdraw, which led to the departure of NATO troops, including British and German soldiers.
Faced with this wave of criticism never seen since the US election last November, US President Joe Biden has remained silent since the Taliban takeover. He is to speak to the Americans on Monday evening.
The Russian and Chinese exceptions
For its part, Moscow did not plan to evacuate its embassy. Russia is among the countries that have received guarantees from the Taliban regarding the security of their embassies, explained Zamir Kabulov, the Kremlin’s envoy for Afghanistan.
As for China, which repatriated at the beginning of July 210 of its nationals from Afghanistan, it called on the new authorities to ensure the safety of those who remained there.
The Chinese embassy in Kabul “continues to function normally,” Chinese diplomacy spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday.
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