Afghan employees of Dutch embassy struggling to reach airport: report
Of the 37 Afghan employees of the Dutch embassy in Kabul, none have been able to reach the airport for evacuation, NRC reported after speaking to them on Thursday evening.
About a third of the local employees of the Dutch embassy and their families, in total some 200 people, were told on Thursday that a flight had been arranged for them. After nearly a day of waiting at the airport, and futile attempts to push through the crowds and get in, they returned home unsuccessful, according to NRC.
The Dutch soldiers at the airport in Kabul noticed that "only people with a Western passport" are being allowed to enter the airport, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense said to the newspaper.
American soldiers have control of the airport, but the Taliban are in control of the streets surrounding it. The Dutch soldiers therefore cannot leave the airport, and people who qualify for evacuation by the Netherlands have to reach the airport themselves.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged to NRC that the evacuation is "difficult" due to problems on the access roads.
The Netherlands already faced criticism because the local embassy employees were not informed of the embassy's evacuation last weekend. They arrived on Sunday morning to find the embassy abandoned.
Earlier this week, Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Affairs said that the Dutch employees of the embassy were lifted from their beds by American soldiers during the early hours of Sunday morning and told to immediately leave for the airport. According to her, the fact that the Afghan employees were not informed was not due to ill intent, but due to a "communications breakdown".