August 5, 2021

Paris organizes last repatriation flight for French people in Afghanistan

Faced with the rapid deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan, the French state chartered, on Saturday July 17, a special flight from Kabul to Paris to bring back the entire French community, as well as some Afghans who had worked or worked for the France. Since May, the beginning of the departure from Afghanistan of foreign forces, present in this country since 2001, the Taliban have continued to extend their hold on the territory.

On July 13, the French Ambassador to Afghanistan, David Martinon, called “The whole of the French community” to take this last flight, specifying that “No more special additional flights can be chartered”. While the French embassy says it can no longer ” Ensure the security “ French from Afghanistan after July 17, the latter will, according to diplomatic sources, between 60 and 100 remain in the country, in addition to members of the diplomatic corps.

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No French humanitarian took the July 17 flight to Paris. Many have decided to stay in Afghanistan despite the threats. “Why would we leave?, asks a French humanitarian, reached in Kabul, who prefers to remain anonymous. The embassy’s call for the French to leave Afghanistan is nothing new. The situation is obviously deteriorating. But for us, the main thing is whether the conditions are right for working. The answer is, for the moment, yes. And, of course, we adapt our activities according to the fights. “

“Left behind” by France

While French diplomatic sources assure that all the Afghans who worked for France in Afghanistan have been repatriated (600 since May), the Association of Afghan interpreters and auxiliaries of the French army refutes this version. According to the spokesperson of this association, Abdulraziq Adil, today in France, the former interpreters, drivers and other auxiliaries who worked for the French army in Afghanistan are still “Between 70 and 80 in Afghanistan, to have failed to obtain a French visa”. “In the flight of July 17, there were only teachers and teachers from French high schools and universities in Afghanistan as well as embassy employees”, he explains.

Shafiullah Almas is one of those who consider himself “Left behind” by France. This 29-year-old Afghan worked with the French soldiers between 2011 and 2012, the year they left Afghanistan. In the province of Kapisa, in the east of the country, he was the translator of the French trainers who taught security rules to the Afghan forces. Shafiullah Almas also patrolled with the French army and sometimes searched suspects. Until 2018, on three occasions, his visa applications were refused.

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