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US Embassy Tells Evacuees In Afghanistan It 'can't Ensure Safe Passage To Kabul Airport'

US Embassy in Kabul issued a new alert to US evacuees and vulnerable Afghan. The new heads up stated- "get to the Kabul airport when you judge it is safe to do"

Afghanistan

AP


At the outset of violence-infused Taliban takeover of Afghanistan since August 15, the United States Embassy in Kabul issued a new alert to US evacuees. The new heads up stated- "get to the Kabul airport when you judge it is safe to do". There is no accurate figure of the number of people – Americans, Afghans or others – who are in need of evacuation as the process is almost entirely self-selecting on a 'first come first serve' basis.

"The US government cannot ensure safe passage to the airport," notification by the US Embassy stated.

Amid mounting crisis and desperation, the US has relaxed rules for Kabul evacuees, stating they do not require getting a negative COVID result to travel. Although Afghanistan had been a hotspot for the COVID pandemic, the US said it opted at least one step to ease the requirements of those seeking to leave. The State Department said that Afghans who are being relocated from Afghanistan by the US troops need not go through the COVID test as a blanket humanitarian waiver has been implemented for COVID testing for all such persons. 

US Embassy alerts evacuees in Kabul of hostile situation in Afghanistan

Showing alertness, the US Embassy in Kabul stated, "We continue to closely monitor events and carefully assess conditions in Afghanistan. The safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas remain a top priority."

"We are processing people at multiple gates. Due to large crowds and security concerns, gates may open or close without notice.  Please use your best judgment and attempt to enter the airport at any gate that is open. Be aware of the potential for violence and security threats associated with large crowds," US Embassy in Kabul further added.

Further, the US Embassy in Kabul enumerated 'actions to be taken' as follows:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially in large crowds.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities including movement restrictions related to curfews.
  • Have a contingency plan for emergencies and review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate in an emergency.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson of US Department of State, Ned Price has said, "Our diplomats around the world are tirelessly engaging with their counterparts to ensure transit and passage for Americans, vulnerable Afghans and others. This is absolutely an all-hands-on-deck effort to ensure the safety of our personnel and citizens."

According to the President Joe Biden-led administration, individuals who believe they are being persecuted or who fear persecution in Afghanistan and have managed to flee to another country need to follow procedures to seek asylum with local and national authorities. Individuals can also seek assistance from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).UNHCR’s focus is to ensure that Afghans who are seeking safety can reach it, including across borders and into neighbouring countries and that they can receive assistance to meet basic needs.

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