Another military special plane landed in Slovakia on Monday, with people evacuated from Afghanistan onboard.
28 people were evacuated from Afghanistan, with six holding a residence permit in Slovakia, and the rest being the wives and children of people with a residence permit in Slovakia, said Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee).
It is already the second military special plane sent to Afghanistan. The first landed in Slovakia less than two weeks ago, with 20 people onboard, including four Afghan citizens. Another four Afghans were brought on a Czech plane. All eight subsequently applied for asylum in Slovakia.
“If we described the first mission as a big success, this was an even bigger one,” PM Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) told the press on August 31.
Two nights in Kabul
The current rescue operation took place under very difficult circumstances, with a Slovak special unit being present. The unit arrived in Kabul on Saturday, August 28, as the Government’s Office wrote, spending two nights at the local airport.
“The people from the departments of defence, foreign affairs and interior who participated in this operation, worked for several days without a break, using all their strength,” said Heger, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that thanks to their persistence, the evacuation was successful.
He also thanked Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď (OĽaNO) and Foreign Affairs Minister Korčok, as well as the US, which helped with the evacuation.
The operation in Kabul lasted about 80 hours. In the end, the Slovak special plane transported 14 people, and the remaining 14 were transported onboard a US plane. After being dropped off in a NATO ally country, they were taken to Slovakia, Naď specified.
They were all checked out by Slovakia’s authorities, and those without a residence permit in the country have been placed in a facility in Humenné.
One failed attempt
The group of 28 Afghans comprised 20 people that Slovakia originally wanted to evacuate on a Norwegian plane last Friday.
However, this attempt was marred by the Taliban, which did not let them pass the checkpoint, these Afghans failing to make it to the airport.
“We’re very glad that we helped people with ties to Slovakia, who finally left Afghanistan for safety,” Korčok wrote on Facebook on August 30.
The official evacuation from Afghanistan ended with the departure of the last US troops. Further processes will now follow during which more people will be able arrive to Slovakia.
The representatives of the Slovak government presented a list of 250 people from Afghanistan who may be in danger, Korčok said, adding that he expects the list to continue increasing.
In his opinion, there are four main challenges the international community will have to deal with: the influx of refugees, terrorism threats, humanitarian and development aid, as well as the political consequences of the situation in Afghanistan.
30. Aug 2021 at 17:35 (modified at 31. Aug 2021 at 17:39) | Compiled by Spectator staff