A whistleblower alleged Tuesday that the United Kingdom organized the evacuation of a whole lot of animals from a shelter in Afghanistan as a substitute of serving to extra individuals evacuate the nation.
Raphael Marshall, a former Foreign Office worker, advised the parliamentary committee that British officers organized for the evacuation of animals at a Kabul animal shelter and put British Soldiers in danger to get them out.
Max Blain, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, denied the claims and mentioned the accusations have been “entirely untrue.”
Marshall claimed that workers on the Foreign Office got directions “from the prime minister to use considerable capacity to transport Nowzad’s animals.”
Nearly 200 canine and cats allegedly have been flown out from the animal shelter.
Blain denied any involvement from Johnson or his spouse Carrie in serving to evacuate the animals. However, he mentioned British officers gave Royal Marine Pen Farthing, the founding father of the charity and animal shelter in Kabul, clearance to depart Afghanistan on a chartered non-public airplane together with his animals.
“We are confident that at no point clearance for that charter plane interrupted our capability to evacuate people,” Blain mentioned.
The Taliban took over the nation in August. British officers mentioned that in two weeks, they airlifted a minimum of 15,000 individuals in another country. Since the preliminary evacuation, British officers say they’ve helped a minimum of 3,000 extra individuals go away Afghanistan.
Marshall mentioned hundreds of pleas for assist by way of electronic mail have been unread between August 21 and 25. The former Foreign Office worker estimated that solely 5 % of Afghan nationals who utilized to flee underneath one U.Okay. program acquired assist. He mentioned that at one level, he was the one individual monitoring the inbox.
“There were usually over 5,000 unread emails in the inbox at any given moment, including many unread emails dating from early in August,” he wrote to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, which is investigating Britain’s chaotic departure from Afghanistan. “These emails were desperate and urgent. I was struck by many titles including phrases such as ‘please save my children.'”
Marshall mentioned a few of these left behind had been killed by the Taliban.
But an Afghan resettlement scheme introduced by the federal government in August with the aim of bringing one other 20,000 individuals to Britain has but to get underway.
Former Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who was moved from the Foreign Office to turn into Justice Secretary after the disaster, defended his actions.
“Some of the criticism seems rather dislocated from the facts on the ground, the operational pressures that with the takeover of the Taliban, unexpected around the world,” he advised the BBC. “I do think that not enough recognition has been given to quite how difficult it was.”
Tom Tugendhat, a Conservative lawmaker who heads the overseas affairs committee, mentioned Marshall’s testimony “raises serious questions about the leadership of the Foreign Office.” The committee is because of quiz senior Foreign Office civil servants later Tuesday.
The Taliban stormed throughout Afghanistan in late summer season, capturing all main cities in a matter of days, as Afghan safety forces educated and outfitted by the U.S. and its allies melted away. The Taliban took over Kabul on August 15.
Tens of hundreds of Afghans tried to depart by air or land, fearing the nation may descend into chaos or that the Taliban would reimpose the tough interpretation of Islamic legislation that they relied on after they ran Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. At the time, ladies needed to put on the all-encompassing burqa and be accompanied by a male family member every time they went exterior. The Taliban banned music, reduce off the palms of thieves and stoned adulterers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.