Special forces to aid evacuation of Irish citizens in Kabul as 200 refugees to arrive in Ireland soon 2 years ago

Special forces to aid evacuation of Irish citizens in Kabul as 200 refugees to arrive in Ireland soon

"There are also a small number of Irish citizens who are working for UN and international organisations and currently plan to stay in Afghanistan."

The Irish government is set to send special forces to help evacuate Irish citizens in Kabul as 200 refugees are to arrive in Ireland over the coming weeks.

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According to the Irish Times, the mission is expected to begin on Monday or Tuesday and will comprise nine members of the elite Army Ranger Wing and two senior Department of Foreign Affairs officials.

In a statement on Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs said that the situation in Kabul "remains volatile" and "access to the airport continues to be a problem".

"Work continues on options for evacuation, the Department is in ongoing contact with EU and other partners on the ground in Kabul," it continued.

"There are also a small number of Irish citizens who are working for UN and international organisations and currently plan to stay in Afghanistan."

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Minister O'Gorman told Newstalk on Monday that the government are "working very hard" to secure the exit of Irish citizens as well as Afghan citizens who've received humanitarian visas out of Kabul.

"We're working very closely with international, and particularly EU member states, who might have a larger presence there - who would have either military flights or indeed chartered flights coming out of the country," he said.

"And we're working to secure seats for those that we're seeking to extract from Afghanistan".

O'Gorman said that Programme Refugee status has now been granted to just over 200 Afghans with the first number of this group to "arrive in Ireland in the next few days".

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"There'll come to Ireland as part of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme - this group of people are primarily those who have been working on human right issues, including the rights of women and girls, they're vulnerable persons and also those working with NGOs and European and international organisations," he said.

"We're continuing to look at capacity across the Irish Refugee Protection Programme, to see if we can make additional spaces.

"There are also other routes in which we may be able to bring more people into the country - I know the Department of Justice are currently looking at the family reunification process.

"That's a means whereby people could join family members who are already residents here in Ireland."

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