Military camp to be used to house Afghan escapees

2 weeks ago 22

Afghans make their way the road to the military entrance of the airport for evacuations, in Kabul, AfghanistanImage source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Afghans fled the country after the Taliban re-seized power in 2021

A military complex will be used to house people who worked with the UK government in Afghanistan, but fled after the Taliban seized power.

East Camp in St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan, will house 50 people by the end of March with more arriving in April, the Ministry of Defence said.

The site can host a maximum of 180 people.

Those arriving are eligible under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (Arap) programme.

The scheme is for those who worked for or with the UK government in Afghanistan in "exposed or meaningful" roles.

It is aimed at those who could face retribution by the Taliban, which re-took power in Afghanistan in August 2021, due to their association with international forces.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to those brave Afghans who risked their lives working alongside our forces in support of the UK mission," the MoD said.

Image caption,

East Camp can host a maximum of 180 people

Those eligible will be housed at East Camp for six weeks "before moving to more settled accommodation", a spokesman added.

The MoD said it was working with the Welsh government and Vale of Glamorgan council to ensure the project was managed "with everybody in mind", especially those who live locally.

In 2023, plans to house Ukrainian refugees at nearby Llantwit Major drew demonstrations from a far-right group.

The Welsh government said the programme was the responsibility of the MoD, which it said it was "working constructively with" to ensure those relocated to Wales from Afghanistan were "able to integrate effectively".

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