Australian citizens and visa holders denied entry at Kabul airport

Australian citizens and visa holders denied entry at Kabul airport

Hundreds of Australian citizens have been trapped behind at Afghanistan’s capital due to a lack of coordination between Australian agencies.

Until recently, Australia has been at the back end of evacuation efforts from Afghanistan.

Roughly 1,700 people have successfully been flown out of Kabul, the nation’s capital, since it was seized earlier this month. However, defence minister Peter Dutton warned yesterday that the situation has been deteriorating by the hour as the Taliban continues to gain control.

kabul airport
Image: SBS

As a result, hundreds of Aussie citizens have been stuck behind. Some have even spent days outside the gates of the airport as they try to get in, only for them to be beaten and pushed back by the Taliban military.

A lack of communication between departments and agencies of the Australian government has led to the struggle. In particular, a lack of communication between Kabul and Canberra has been pointed out by authorities.

The road to Kabul airport is currently the only way out of the country. However, it is known to be highly dangerous, with queues that last into days, marred with regular Taliban violence.

The office of Australia’s immigration minister has gained knowledge of two orphaned adults who had been approved for an evacuation. They had received an email from the Australian government telling them to go to the airport, having had a visa application in train for nine years.

However, after passing several Taliban areas and reaching the secure section of the airport, where they stayed for 24 hours, they were then told to go home by Australian authorities because they did not have a fully granted visa.

Issues of this nature have marred the situation for Aussies attempting to flee the country, as Canberra expects things to only get worse.

Dutton has spoken with the chief of Australian Defence Force, Angus Campbell: “about our evacuation plans and ways in which we can move our equipment, our assets and most importantly our people out safely in a timely way”.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that Monday night’s rescue of more than 650 people across five flights has been the mission’s biggest success yet.