Whistleblower lifts lid on failures which ‘betrayed’ Afghans who helped UK

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A whistleblower has claimed that a UK plan after the Taliban came to power helped only 5% of Afghan citizens who applied for help flee the country – killing some since the fall of Kabul Has been done.

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In evidence published by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday, Rafael Marshall – who worked for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) during the evacuation effort – described how he was the only one monitoring an inbox at a time. The person was where the request for help was made. were directed.

However, the government’s public statements on the Taliban’s expectation of a turnaround did not match the information it was getting.


Mr Marshall’s written evidence is due to be published by the committee on Tuesday, and its chairman, Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, said the “failures betrayed our friends and allies and ruined decades of British and NATO efforts”.

And he said it portrayed the evacuation as a “lack of interest, and bureaucracy on humanity”.

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Mr Marshall served on the Afghan Special Cases team, which looked into the affairs of Afghans who were at risk because of their ties to the UK, but who did not work directly for the UK government.

He estimated that “75,000 to 150,000 people (including dependents) applied for evacuation” to the team under the Leave Outside the Rules (LOTR) category.

And he estimated that “less than 5% of these people have received any aid” and that “it is clear that some of those left behind have been murdered by the Taliban”.

He said that none of the members of the team working on these cases had “studied Afghanistan, worked in Afghanistan before, or had detailed knowledge of Afghanistan”.

(Ben Schraded/MOD)

And that junior officer was “afraid to be asked to make hundreds of life and death decisions of which he knew nothing”.

It comes as FCDO official and Ambassador to Afghanistan Sir Laurie Bristow is due to give evidence to the committee on Tuesday.

Mr Marshall alleged that then-Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab “did not fully understand the situation”.

Emails were opened but action was not taken, and he felt that “the purpose of this system was to allow the Prime Minister and the then Foreign Secretary to inform MPs that there were no unread emails”.

He said: “These emails were desperate and urgent. I was hit with a lot of headlines, including phrases like ‘Please save my children’.”

He added: “The contrast between Her Majesty’s government’s statements about the retaliatory Taliban and the highly credible allegations of very serious human rights abuses received by email to HMG is striking.”

People at an Afghan solidarity rally in Trafalgar Square (UE Mok/PA)

Mr Tugendhat said: “These allegations are serious and go to the heart of the leadership failures surrounding the Afghan disaster, which we have seen throughout this investigation.

“These failures betrayed our friends and allies and ruined decades of British and NATO efforts. The evidence we have heard includes disturbances in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and substantial failures in efforts to evacuate people throughout Afghanistan. has been accused of.

“The evacuation has been described as a success by some, but these allegations point to a very different story – a lack of interest, and bureaucracy over humanity. It balances the lives of many of our friends and colleagues. proved to be a true test of the leadership and effectiveness of the Foreign Office.

“This evidence raises serious questions about the leadership of the Foreign Office, and I look forward to presenting it to officials, including Sir Laurie Bristow, the former ambassador to Afghanistan.”

A government spokesman said: “UK Government employees worked tirelessly to evacuate more than 15,000 people from Afghanistan within a fortnight.

“It was the largest mission of its kind in generations and the second largest evacuation operation undertaken by any country. We are still working to help others go.

An RAF C-17A Globemaster III lands at RAF Breeze Norton (cpl ‘Mattie’ Matthews)

“More than 1,000 FCDO employees worked to help release British nationals and eligible Afghans during Operation Pitting. The scale and challenging circumstances of the evacuation mean that priority decisions must be made quickly to ensure that we can help as many people as possible.

“Sadly, we weren’t able to evacuate all of those we wanted, but our commitment to them is lasting, and since the end of the operation we’ve helped more than 3,000 individuals leave Afghanistan.”


Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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