Now that the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan is underway, several countries are working on asylum arrangements for the local interpreters and fixers who have assisted them. It becomes dangerous for them in Afghanistan because they are seen by the Taliban as traitors.
Belgium is also working on a scheme to bring them to this country.
‘There is an agreement on the principle, but it has been agreed not to communicate about it for the time being. For security reasons’, according to the newspaper can be heard in government circles. ‘We are not going to abandon these people’, says another government source.
It is still unclear whether there will be a kind of asylum procedure – in principle not possible from abroad – or whether humanitarian visas will be involved. The cabinets of Minister of Defence Ludivine Dedonder (PS) and Secretary of State for asylum and migration Sammy Mahdi (CD&V) do not yet want to give too much publicity to the case. They limit themselves to a brief joint reaction.
‘We will examine case by case whether there are people in need who have helped our Belgian troops in their mission in Afghanistan. If necessary, steps will be taken in the interests of these people in accordance with a defined working method.’
The system will be practically cleared in the coming weeks. The exact number of persons involved is not yet clear. ‘There are not a hundred’, you can hear.