Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament on Wednesday that the United Kingdom had so far deported more than 300 Britons and more than 2,000 Afghan civilians. Johnson made the remarks during a speech to parliament convened to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan.
“So far we have received the safe return of 306 British nationals and 2,052 Afghans as part of the resettlement program,” the British Prime Minister was quoted as saying by AFP on Wednesday. He added that the applications of 2,000 more Afghan nationals had been processed and were being processed “in large numbers.”
The reports came at a time when many countries are scrambling to expel their citizens, diplomats and refugees from Afghanistan. Reuters quoted an unnamed security official as saying on Wednesday that more than 2,200 officers and civilians had been evacuated from Afghanistan by military planes. According to Bloomberg, Taliban militants have set up security checkpoints around Kabul International Airport and are raising concerns about the safety of people trying to leave the country. The Taliban leader, however, said the checkpoints were only there to ensure security and prevent people from rushing into the airport, Bloomberg reported.
Meanwhile, Johnson announced that he would deploy an additional 800 troops to support the British withdrawal. “The process will continue until conditions at the airport allow,” he stressed, according to ANI news agency. He also said that the UK’s humanitarian and development assistance to Afghanistan would be doubled.
Explaining his plans to move Afghan refugees to the UK, Johnson said 20,000 Afghans would be resettled in Britain starting in the first year, 5,000. “I can announce today that we are committed to resettling another 5,000 Afghans this year. The new and temporary resettlement program is focused on the most vulnerable, especially women and children.
Johnson’s spokesman said Wednesday that Britain planned to fly 1,000 people every day after the Taliban took control of the country from Afghanistan.
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