Escape From Kabul

Fijian tells of chaos as Taliban control of Afghanistan
19 Aug 2021 12:35
Escape From Kabul
Citizens of Kabul in Afghanistan, flee as Taliban forces take control of the country after the withdrawal of United States troops. Photo: Reuters

Gunshots filled the Afghani­stan’s capital, Kabul, on Monday.

Among the foreigners scurry­ing to leave the takeover by the Taliban was former British Army soldier, Viliame Cabebula, a tele­communication engineer with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The 41-year-old from Narocivo, Nayau, in Lau was among the resi­dents of European countries who boarded a Royal Air Force (RAF) C-17 en route to the United King­dom via Dubai.

Mr. Cabebula was based in Af­ghanistan for three years and five months on a rota­tional basis.

He is a resident in Wales, United King­dom.

“From the plane, I was able to see people running to­wards the aircraft. Gunshots were heard at the same time,” Mr Cabebu­la said.

“It is a sad thing to see when peo­ple try to look for ways to be alive. Few people who tried to cling to the US Air Force aircraft fell to their death as the plane took off.”

Mr. Cabebula said things started to change in July when the last of the NATO troops pulled out.

“The trucks and everything are still there, their embassy was still there, and the workers were still in the building until evacuation day which was August 11,” he said.

“The Taliban were not only shooting guns but launched rocket attack as well,” he recalled as he flew out of Kabul.

“Finally, out of Afghanistan after three long years on a rotation basis. Thank you to everyone who wished me luck and your prayers for a safe return home.”

All those in the plane with Mr. Cabebula will stop in the UK and fly home after quarantine.


Fijians in Afghanistan

While the number of Fijians working for the United Nations and other agencies is known and some already evacuated, the major worry is the Fijians who are contracted to private security companies.

As of Monday, there were 13 Fijians awaiting evacuation, 11 worked for UN agencies while two for private contractors.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called on Fijians who have family members in Afghanistan to contact them so evacuation can be arranged.

The Taliban after the takeover have told the world that they do not wish to make enemies and instead would want peaceful relations with other countries.

After the chaos on Monday, evacuations resumed in Afghanistan of foreigners showing that the Taliban have kept their word.

The chaos started after the Americans ended their 20-year military involvement of Afghanistan.

However, there are reassurances from the Taliban that it will be peaceful, and everyone protected within the framework of Islam.




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