March 4, 2024

200 Afghan ex-special forces who labored with British navy denied relocation to UK: BBC


LONDON: About 200 former Afghan particular forces whose anti-Taliban operations with Britain’s navy have been “extremely essential” have been denied relocation to the UK, the BBC reported on Monday.


An additional 32 former authorities officers, in addition to plenty of civilian leaders who aided Britain’s mission within the nation, have additionally been denied by the Afghan Relocations and Help Programme.


The previous troopers’ “abandonment” by the UK authorities has been labeled a “betrayal” and “shame” by senior British navy figures, together with Gen. Richard Barrons, who served in Afghanistan for greater than a decade.


He advised the BBC that the UK’s failure to relocate the previous troopers “is a shame, as a result of it displays that both we’re duplicitous as a nation or incompetent.”


Barrons added: “It’s a betrayal, and the price of that betrayal might be individuals who served with us will die or spend their lives in jail.”


The UK’s then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2021 described the work of the previous Afghan particular forces as “extremely essential.”


Britain arrange two main items composed of elite Afghan troopers in an effort to fight opium manufacturing and the Taliban presence in Afghanistan.


Commando Power 333, and its sister unit, Afghan Territorial Power 444, have been generally known as “the Triples,” and “shortly gained a repute for effectiveness, honesty and braveness,” the BBC reported.


One of many former CF333 members, generally known as Ali, described being “deserted and betrayed” by the UK after spending “day and night time” along with British troopers.


He added: “Throughout coaching we slept below one tent, consuming from the identical dish. Throughout operations we fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the British, as members of 1 household.”


Throughout the evacuation from Kabul in August 2021, Ali oversaw the safety of British passport holders as they left the nation on emergency flights.


However he was denied entry on the identical flights, and ultimately fled to Pakistan by land out of concern of reprisal assaults from Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers.


“We by no means thought that heroes can be deserted. We took all these dangers. We have been prepared to assist the worldwide neighborhood, we revered freedom of speech and human life, then all the pieces turned the wrong way up. It’s actually disappointing,” he mentioned.


Figures compiled by a community of Afghan veterans, seen by the BBC, present that there are as much as 200 different former troopers in the identical place as Ali. Their purposes to Britain’s ARAP scheme have confronted delays or rejection.


Civilian leaders who helped Britain’s mission in Afghanistan have additionally been denied by the scheme.


Amongst them is Mohammad Fahim, a former governor of Helmand province’s Garmsir district, a key Taliban stronghold earlier than 2001.


Regardless of working “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Britain, he says he was “betrayed” and “by no means thought that I might be left alone like this.”


He added: “We arrested plenty of Taliban leaders once I was governor. They knew that we have been combating along with the worldwide forces, so the risk to me is actual.


“We ran programmes shoulder-to-shoulder, with the shared purpose of bringing safety for the individuals who lived in Helmand, giving them a great life and making peace.”


His work to counter the Taliban presence in his district resulted within the homicide of his brother and two cousins, and in 2018 Fahim was nearly crushed to loss of life.


Barrons mentioned: “I’m personally ashamed as a result of I really feel very deeply that we made an obligation to them and we’ve not fulfilled it.


“It’s past absurd to say they don’t qualify and that they need to be left behind to a destiny by the hands of the Taliban.”


Lt. Gen. Abdul Hadi Khalid, former first commanding officer of CF333, mentioned Britain’s therapy of the Triples will diminish the nation’s standing within the area.


He added: “I’m 100% certain that when different nations, different progressive forces, see Afghanistan, once they take a look at Afghan folks, Afghan miseries, how can they belief the West?”


In response to the BBC’s reporting, a UK Ministry of Protection spokesman mentioned: “Thus far, we’ve introduced round 24,600 folks to security, together with 1000’s of individuals eligible for our Afghan schemes.


“Every ARAP software is assessed individually and in accordance with revealed coverage, and we don’t routinely decide on eligibility based mostly on a job function.”