On 26 August, the Polish evacuation mission from Afghanistan ended. During over a week 44 flights were carried out, thanks to which 1100 people were evacuated, out of which as many as 937 were Afghan citizens cooperating with the Polish military mission and diplomats.
The fall of Afghanistan
According to U.S. President Joe Biden, American troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan by August 31st. This situation has been exploited by the Taliban, who for the past weeks have been gaining more and more control over various territories in Afghanistan, until they finally took control of the capital Kabul on August 15.
Many experts, including analysts from government agencies did not predict such a rapid fall of the Afghan capital, which resulted in the extension of the evacuation mission of Afghans working with NATO and UN countries. The extension put many of them in great danger because the new Taliban leadership considered them traitors.
The world reacts
News of the Taliban’s progressive offensive quickly spread around the world. The countries which took part in the ISAF mission did not remain passive in the face of the situation for long. Already a few days after the capture of Kabul, countries such as France, Germany or the Czech Republic decided to evacuate their citizens and other people, the citizens of Afghanistan cooperating with their armies.
Poland has also decided to launch an evacuation mission. As confirmed by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, a group of Afghans cooperating with the Polish Military Contingent will receive humanitarian visas for themselves and their families. Already on August 18, the public was informed about the arrival of the first plane with 50 people, citizens of Poland and Afghanistan.
From the beginning to the end of the mission, as many as 44 flights were made, thanks to which it was possible to evacuate 1100 people. Many of them provided assistance as translators or guides for the Polish army. It is worth noting that the Polish evacuation mission also included assistance for the staff of the International Monetary Fund, associates of the European Union Representation in Kabul, associates of Lithuania, Estonia, Czech Republic, Germany and citizens of the Netherlands.
Polish army again in Afghanistan
Due to the tense situation and in order to ensure the safety of the evacuation mission, President Andrzej Duda has decided to send soldiers to Afghanistan again. The military contingent consists of 100 soldiers, including soldiers of the elite GROM unit, medics, airmen and logisticians.
According to the decision of the President, the soldiers will carry out their mission from August 18th to September 16th. As the head of the National Security Bureau, Pawel Soloch stated, the mission has no combat character and its purpose is to properly secure the evacuation.
Sources: BBC, KPRM, PAP
Title photo: PAP Darek Delmanowicz