Spain removes Afghan interpreters after Taliban threat

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Taliban threat

MADRID – Since the withdrawal of foreign troops, Afghan interpreters are afraid for their lives in their own country because of the Taliban threat. For this reason, the Spanish government has announced it will bring Afghan interpreters to Spain together with their families. 

Afghan interpreters and their families are at risk domestically. This is because they are viewed by the Taliban as traitors to their country for having worked for foreign troops. The Taliban have killed many interpreters in the past 20 years. And it is feared that the departure of foreign military personnel will lead to more retaliation. 

However, it is not just about Afghan interpreters who have worked for foreign troops. Security guards, cooks, and drivers also worked together with foreign military troops. And because of this cooperation, their lives are no longer secure in Afghanistan. 

Spain protects Afghan interpreters and families from Taliban threat 

The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently finalising various formalities so that the interpreters and their families can be taken to safety in Spain as soon as possible. For example, the Spanish newspaper El Mundo wrote earlier on Wednesday. The exact number of interpreters involved was not disclosed. 

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Taliban have conquered most of Afghanistan 

The Taliban have already captured 8 of the 34 provincial capitals and are threatening to take more. 65% of the country is now in the hands of the Taliban, Reuters news agency reported. The United Nations said more than 1,000 civilians were killed in fighting in the past month. 

The Taliban said in a statement that these people should not fear for their lives. Without specific explanation, the Taliban believe that these people will have to show “a degree of remorse.” 

Threat started with withdrawal of foreign troops 

In recent times, many western countries have started withdrawing their troops. The last Spanish soldiers deployed to Afghanistan were returned to Spain in May. With that, after 19 years, the longest mission in which Spanish armed forces had participated came to an end. All US troops will leave Afghanistan before the end of this month. 

Not only Spain, the US, and the Netherlands are also removing interpreters 

The United States is currently working on some 20,000 visa applications for interpreters and their families who have worked alongside US military personnel. This topic was discussed on Tuesday evening in the Dutch program Op1 where the Dutch government was accused of not acting faster. The NOS has now also reported that dozens of interpreters will be brought to the Netherlands together with their families in the coming days and weeks. 

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