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Dirco in talks with other countries to give South Africans a “lift” out of Afghanistan

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Taliban fighters and local residents sit on an Afghan National Army (ANA) Humvee vehicle. Picture AFP

The South African government said on Tuesday it was urging South African nationals currently in Afghanistan and in need of assistance to make contact.

PRETORIA – The South African government is in talks with other countries to give citizens a “lift” out of Afghanistan, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) said on Tuesday.

“This is common diplomatic practice particularly in situations where we’ve got very few nationals requiring assistance,” Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela told ANA.

Monyela said that South Africans who have made contact were being assisted.

“Most employers are making arrangements for their employees to leave the country,” he said.

Monyela explained that direct evacuation of South Africans from Afghanistan could be done under circumstances where their lives were under threat and that such decisions would have to be taken by the National Security Council.

Earlier in a statement, Dirco said that it had noted the unfolding situation in Afghanistan and urged South Africans currently in that country in need of assistance to make contact.

This comes after Taliban militants took control of the capital city Kabul following the withdrawal of US troops.

On Sunday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, abandoning the presidential palace to Taliban fighters as the government in Kabul fell.

Videos of Afghanis clinging to the sides of a US plane on the runway at the city’s airport have gone viral. According to reports, some of the desperate people fell to their deaths when the plane gathered speed and took off.

Taliban militants recaptured Afghanistan’s capital almost two decades after they were driven from it by US troops.

On Monday, US President Joe Biden said that he did not regret pulling American forces out of the troubled country.

He said that he would not make the mistake of putting US soldiers in harm’s way, especially not when the Afghanistan National Army soldiers were not prepared to fight for their country.

African News Agency (ANA)

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