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“The French president has not kept his commitment”: with the forgotten Afghans of the “Apagan” operation
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“The French president has not kept his commitment”: with the forgotten Afghans of the “Apagan” operation
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She first had to dip into her savings, then sell her last valuables to make ends meet increasingly difficult. While she had obtained a post as a French teacher at Kabul University in the summer of 2021, Saïda (who prefers not to give her true identity for fear of reprisals) now feels that she has everything lost. “If we can’t find a legal way to get out of the country, we’ll leave with the smugglers, laments this 27-year-old mother. I saw the fruits of my years of work go up in smoke. I refuse that my two sons end up like me. »

When the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in August 2021, Saïda immediately alerted the Quai d’Orsay to the dangers weighing on her life, on those of her husband, spokesperson for a ministry under the former regime. , and their two little boys. The response had been encouraging: his family should be evacuated, if possible. Then nothing. Without a final opinion from Paris, the couple did not dare to go to the airport. “My children are very young, 2 and 4 years old. I was afraid that we would find ourselves stuck in the crowd,” she explains. To complicate the situation, “All my documents, including my diploma and my birth certificate, are at the university. I tried to go get them, but the Taliban wouldn’t let me in.” she continues. Most of his former classmates in the French license have managed to leave. Not her. Since then, her husband hardly ever goes out: a figure known for his former official functions, he fears being apprehended by the new masters of Kabul. Saïda recalled the Quai d’Orsay, wrote to the French embassies in Qatar and Pakistan. So many letters remained unanswered. In the family apartment located in Makrouyan, a popular district in the south of the capital, there is misunderstanding.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In Afghanistan, civil society stifled behind closed doors

Like Saïda, many Afghans feel aggrieved after being excluded from Operation “Apagan” – the double airlift organized between Kabul, Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, and Paris, in the United Arab Emirates. summer 2021 – despite their proven links to France and their opposition to the Taliban. They are in danger, say they are abandoned. Why some and not others? On what criteria was the choice of those who were evacuated made?

“A triage done in an emergency”

“The sorting was done in an emergency, admits, in Paris, a framework of the ministry for the interior, under cover of anonymity. The gauge was set by the deadline, which was August 31 [2021], date of the departure of the Americans. » In total, between August 16 and 27, 27 flights were operated from Kabul to Abu Dhabi. “France has made its market”, retorts Houssam El-Assimi, pillar of the La Chapelle Debout and Afghan Lives Matter collectives (“Afghan lives matter”), created during this period. This a fierce defender of the right to asylum claims to have tried to contact the crisis unit, set up on August 15 at the Quai d’Orsay, in order to come to the aid of around thirty Afghan refugees worried about their relatives who remained in the country. In vain : ” I don’t knows person who managed to bring his family, he laments. We have the feeling that this cell has just made it possible to deflate the pressure, but, for us, the result is zero. »

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“The French president has not kept his commitment”: with the forgotten Afghans of the “Apagan” operation
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