The Belgian government has given the green light for the deployment of three Air Force transport aircraft (one new Airbus A400M and two C-130H Hercules) in Afghanistan for an evacuation mission, as confirmed by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.
A more in-depth discussion will take place Monday evening between ministers, during a new “kern” meeting.
Many Western countries (among others the United States, Germany, France and the Netherlands) have dispatched military resources to Kabul international airport – which has been protected for years in part by Belgian troops – to evacuate their nationals.
Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder justified the decision by “the very worrying developments in the situation in Afghanistan“, in a statement issued by her cabinet. “Regarding Afghan interpreters and collaborators who have worked for Belgian interests, they have the opportunity to make themselves known to our authorities. They will also have the opportunity to apply for a visa to another country,” she added.
Ms Dedonder indicated in the morning that her department was preparing a NEO (“non-combatant evacuation operation”) detachment.
La situation en Afghanistan évolue rapidement. La priorité est la sécurité des Belges sur place.
Le kern a donc décidé de donner son feu vert à une opération d'évacuation par la Défense.
La question sera abordée plus en profondeur en kern ce soir.
— Alexander De Croo (@alexanderdecroo) August 16, 2021
[2/2] Now that all 🇧🇪 military left the country, coordinating within 🇧🇪 government on support of @belgiumdefence on the questions of the AFGH tolks and remaining Belgian citizens on the ground, in close contact with our international partners
— Ludivine Dedonder (@DedonderLudivin) August 15, 2021