Afghan translators fleeing the Taliban land in Britain

At the end of May, Britain announced it would accelerate plans for the relocation of Afghan staff who worked with the military. (Reuters)

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  • In the two decades since the US-led invasion, dozens of Afghan translators have been killed or tortured in targeted assaults by the radical Islamist group

AFP June 23, 2021 

London: Afghan translators who worked with the British military and fear reprisal attacks from the Taliban have arrived in the UK as part of a relocation scheme, campaigners said on Wednesday.


The Sulha Alliance for Afghan interpreters told AFP the first group of translators landed in Birmingham, central England, on Tuesday evening, adding they expected the arrivals would go into Covid quarantine for 14 days.


The government declined to comment on the reports about the departure of the flight over concerns about the safety of the relocating Afghan translators and their families.


At the end of May, Britain announced it would accelerate plans for the relocation of Afghan staff who worked with the military and their families ahead of a planned withdrawal of US-led NATO forces.


Under a relocation scheme for former and current Afghan staff, more than 1,300 workers and their families have been brought to Britain.


More than 3,000 Afghans are expected to be resettled under the accelerated plans, the government said.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has said the government has a “moral obligation” to relocate staff and to “recognize the risks they faced in the fight against terrorism and reward their efforts.”


Retired Col. Simon Diggins, the former British attache in Kabul and now a campaigner for the Sulha Alliance, said the translators would receive four months of support after which he said, “the real struggle begins.”


Afghan translators and other local staff who worked with Britain and other NATO members such as the United States, Germany and France have clamoured to be relocated for fear of Taliban reprisals.


In the two decades since the US-led invasion, dozens of Afghan translators have been killed or tortured in targeted assaults by the radical Islamist group.


Even more have been injured in attacks on foreign troops during patrols in armored vehicles.
Campaigners have criticized what they say are confusing relocation schemes by NATO members, which they claim have allowed many translators to fall through the gaps and will struggle to evacuate all necessary staff before the western alliance’s withdrawal.

source Afghan translators fleeing the Taliban land in Britain (arabnews.com)

1 reply

  1. This article speaks mainly of translators that worked for the British Army. Of course the same problem is there for all translators who worked for all foreign armies. Let’s hope all of them are taken care of.

    When I was Chief of Mission of the International Organisation for Migration in Iraq we had a large project assisting in the relocation of all staff and their families that worked for the Americans.

    When a Journalist from the Washington Post asked me if I think the Americans are doing enough for the Iraqis that worked for them I replied ‘If someone risks his life for you, you cannot just say thank you and good bye’. The US State Department got furious and told my boss he should tell me not to comment on US policy.

    Was that so bad? Actually I was just supporting their relocation project. (but they never forgave me). Ah well …

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