Dozens of interpreters who worked for Dutch forces still in danger in Afghanistan
Dozens of interpreters that worked for the Dutch armed forces in Afghanistan are still trapped in the country and in real danger. That despite the Dutch cabinet promising to get them to safety quickly after the Dutch soldiers withdrew from the country, Trouw reports based on conversations with those involved.
The interpreters are at risk because the Taliban considers them traitors to their country. After the Dutch military withdrew from Afghanistan last month, following the lead of the United States, caretaker Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld promised to do her very best to get the interpreters and their families to safety in the Netherlands.
Despite this, at least 70 of the 273 interpreters who worked with the Dutch armed forces are still in Afghanistan with their families, according to Trouw. And as more NATO troops withdraw from the country, the Taliban is gaining more ground, making it increasingly unsafe for the interpreters. The number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan increased significantly over the past few months, the United Nations reported.
The Ministry of Defense told Trouw that most of the interpreters who are still in Afghanistan only submitted their application for rescue last month.
According to the newspaper, the Ministry is getting more and more applications, including from people who never worked with the Dutch troops.