October 1, 2022

The State Department is functioning to facilitate the departure of roughly 100 Americans and legal permanent residents able to leave Afghanistan, a senior State Department official said Monday.

The official described the amount as fluid but told reporters they’re “constantly touching base” with US citizens believed to still be in Afghanistan, also as other governments and aircraft carriers to undertake to rearrange charter flights.

Since August 31 — when US forces left Afghanistan — a minimum of 85 US citizens and 79 legal permanent residents have departed the country with United States government assistance, the official said.

“An additional number of yank citizens and legal permanent residents have departed Afghanistan within the last month on private charters,” the official said, “but since those private charters, during a number of cases, are getting to third countries, and not coming to a location where they go to urge mission from United States government personnel, we do not have specific visibility on precisely what percentage people came off those flights who were actually Americans or legal permanent residents.”

The official said the State Department is in-tuned with private groups who are organizing those private flights to undertake to advise them on “the limitations inside Afghanistan” also as “some of the challenges related to the groups of individuals that they carry out.”

In the wake of the complete US withdrawal from Afghanistan, there are tensions between the State Department and therefore the private groups working to urge Americans and at-risk Afghans out of the country. In early September, Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged there had been “a fair amount of confusion” around charter flights looking to depart from Mazar-i-Sharif, a city in northern Afghanistan, and said that the United States government is “working to try to to everything in our power to support those flights and to urge them off the ground” after facing sharp scrutiny from outside groups and congressional lawmakers.

On Monday, the senior State Department official said that there are “challenges” with “every charter that has come to a (US government) reception point, principally in Doha.”

Barbers in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province are now prohibited from shaving beards and playing music
Barbers in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province are now prohibited from shaving beards and playing music
“A bunch of individuals came out that we weren’t expecting, … and that we don’t necessarily know if who they assert they’re … lines up with who the charter operators indicated they were,” they said.

“We’ve had stowaways. We’ve had ground-service crew that climbed on the plane. We’ve had any number of individuals get off those flights who aren’t on the manifest, don’t necessarily have a way of who they’re or why they particularly think they might qualify,” they added.

“In some cases, we’ve had unaccompanied minors traveling without parents, traveling without a trustee , and a few big question marks about why they were on the aircraft,” the official said.

The official noted that the State Department is functioning to ascertain who therein population “legitimately can say they’re at acute risk” — describing them as “people who can demonstrably demonstrate that they have active threats against them, they have people trying to find them” — “as against people that simply are uncomfortable or fear the unknown that comes with the Taliban taking control of state and therefore the state.”

“Once we have got a particular check out that population, we will then better evaluate and make sure that senior leaders have the chance to seem at the range of implications related to moving those people into the [United] States or with holding them out and putting them through a daily refugee resettlement process during which a number of them might come to the [United] States and a few of them might continue to other countries that collaborate with” UN organizations like the United Nations diplomat for Refugees and therefore the world organization for Migration, they said.


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