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British evacuation from Afghanistan castigated by parliamentary report

Between “betrayal of our allies” and “disaster” : a parliamentary report published Tuesday, May 24 combs flaws and “systemic failures” of British diplomacy during the Western withdrawal and evacuation from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021. ‘The conduct of our withdrawal from Afghanistan has proven to be a disaster and a betrayal of our allies which will damage UK interests for years to come’criticizes the document.

He denounces in particular “the complete absence of a plan to evacuate the Afghans who supported the British mission in the country” without being directly employed by London. “The British side in this tragedy reveals a lack of seriousness in coordination, a lack of clear decision-making, a lack of leadership and a lack of responsibility”denounced in a press release the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat.

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In the actual context, “our diplomacy and our security cannot be so confused and so unstructured”he continues, denouncing “serious systemic failures at the heart of UK foreign policy”including the absence of then-foreign secretary Dominic Raab and the department’s top civil servant, Philip Barton.

Reconnect with Kabul

Among other things, the report sharply criticizes the “lack of a solid prioritization system” in the evacuations, which allowed an association for the protection of animals to pass by following an intervention whose origin could not be determined, and to leave the country with dogs and cats when a number of Afghans potentially threatened failed to do so.

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This case is part of “a broader problem of transparency and accountability within the ministry”according to the report, which judges that the answers that were given to the commission “intentionally evasive at best, and often deliberately misleading”.

“Parliament can only hold the government accountable if it can be confident that it is getting honest answers to its questions”says the report.

As for the future, the report calls on the government to restore diplomatic ties with the ruling Taliban in Kabul as soon as possible, stressing that the “attempts to completely isolate the new regime can only harm the Afghan people and leave a vacuum that will be filled by China”.

The World with AFP

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