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KOT urge State to evacuate Kenyans stuck in Afghan

NATIONAL
By Jacinta Mutura | August 16th 2021

A member of the Taliban stands outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 16, 2021.[Reuters]

It is unclear if there are plans by government to evacuate Kenyans who may be stuck in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, after the Taliban took over the country.

Photos have circulated online showing crowds of people scrambling at the airport hoping to flee the country after the Taliban overthrew government troops in most of the country.

Five people have reportedly been killed in the chaotic scenes that were witnessed on the tarmac in Kabul.

Western countries, including the United States and United Kingdom, have been evacuating diplomatic personnel, civilians and their Afghan workers after President Ashraf Ghani fled his country.

Kenyans took to social media to appeal to the government to airlift citizens stuck in the country.

Afghanistan is one of Middle Eastern countries where Kenyans immigrants work as casual labourers, contractors and technical staff.

Thousands of desperate citizens and foreigners have mobbed the city's airport, fearing the hard-line rule of the Taliban.

Sent help

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should tell us how many Kenyans are operating in Afghanistan and whether they will be evacuated,” read a post on Twitter from @akams_.

“There are many Kenyans stationed in Afghanistan working in IT and other sectors. I hope they are safe and have been evacuated by their employers,” wrote another user, @Elayne.

And in another post from @Nyigi: "Now that Kenya too has a sizeable number of Kenyans working in Afghanistan, has the government sent any help to evacuate them from Kabul?"

Efforts to reach the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment on the number of Kenyans working in Afghanistan and any plans to evacuate them were futile.

The Taliban takeover has already led to disruptions in supplies of basic commodities, long queues outside banking halls, and the halting of domestic and international commercial flights.

The Taliban first took over power in Afghanistan in 1996 before being ousted by the US following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in New York and Washington. The US military's presence in Afghanistan was aimed at toppling the Taliban for shielding al-Qaeda terrorists. 

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