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“Fier op mijn mannen”: hoe de Fransen in één klap 216 mensen evacueerden uit Kaboel

“Proud of my men”: how did the French …

It’s a feat that the rest of the world looks at. The French managed to evacuate 216 people from Kabul at once. By making deals with the Taliban, of course. In this way, French citizens and embassy staff, as well as many Afghan families, could be saved.

It’s like a movie script. The French embassy was closed to the outside world, but behind the scenes a complete evacuation began. About 216 civilians were evacuated with an 11-man team. The military, as well as members of the French RAID (Liberator Police Unit) organized the evacuation. With a convoy, the evacuees had to pass 5 kilometers through Taliban territory.

The French first and foremost wanted to bring the ambassador to safety. “So that he can continue to operate safely,” Jean-Baptiste Dollon, President of RAID, said in an interview. “I had to safely evacuate all the French, as well as the Afghans who worked with us,” he added.

To safely transport all 216 people to the airport, an agreement was needed from the Taliban themselves. Until then, Dollon says, the journey has been difficult. It is difficult to conclude such agreements in a chaotic country. It was life threatening. It was about fingers crossed, and the three miles to the airport seemed endless. He is a true example of daring, perseverance and professionalism. I am very proud of my men.”