78 Afghan refugees accommodated in Zoutkamp; 135 people brought to NL in total
An additional 50 Afghan refugees arrived at the Willem Lodewijk van Nassaukazen in Zoutkamp on Saturday where emergency accommodation had been set up. The first 28 evacuees from Afghanistan arrived there on Friday evening.
“The evacuees were extremely tired after a long journey and testing times”, a spokesperson for the Central Organ for Asylum Seekers Reception (COA) said.
The emergency refugee camp was set up on Tuesday by the Ministry of Defense. In total, there is space for 540 people.
Until now, the Netherlands has brought 135 people from Afghanistan, figures from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Defense Ministry showed on Saturday. It was the first time an oversight was published about the number of people that have been brought from the Afghan capital Kabul to the Netherlands since the Taliban came into power.
The evacuees included people with a Dutch passport, as well as, Afghans who worked for the Netherlands.
On Wednesday, under pressure from the Tweede Kamer, the Cabinet decided that people who have worked for the Netherlands in Afghanistan should be brought to the Netherlands, just like interpreters and their families. There are still around 700 people in Afghanistan waiting to flee to the Netherlands.
Out of the total number of evacuees brought to the Netherlands, 17 were flown out on planes from ally countries. The remaining 118 arrived on a Dutch military plane.
In total, the Ministry of Defense has helped evacuate 368 people from Afghanistan. On Saturday, a plane with 153 people from Afghanistan onboard landed at Schiphol airport. For the majority of them, the Netherlands will not be their final destination.
Reporting by ANP