The United States will be able to bring up to 4,000 Afghan refugees to the air bases of Morón (Seville) and naval bases of Rota (Cádiz) by virtue of the agreement reached with the Spanish Government, as confirmed by sources from the evacuation and reception operation.

The agreement is the result of the telephone conversation between the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez , and the US president, Joe Biden , this Saturday. Those arriving in Spain are estimated to have a “transit period” of up to 14 days , according to the same sources.

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All Afghan refugees who arrive on Spanish territory through the two bases for joint use, in what the Pentagon calls’ Operation Allies Refuge, will be people who collaborated with the US presence in Afghanistan and their families. That detail of the families is not minor: among those evacuated by Spain there is one that has 14 members.

Robles affirms that Spain will remain in Kabul while the Americans are there
Robles affirms that Spain will remain in Kabul while the Americans are there
After their stay in Rota and Morón, these people will be transferred to the United States or to six other countries with which Washington is agreeing to their temporary reception.

The civilian personnel of the two bases began this Monday to provide accommodation for the refugees . Two military shelters are set up, called in the bases “hotels”, which, in the case of Morón, in the past were used to house soldiers and marines. At the time when the base was hosted by the most people, the invasion of the 1991 Gulf War, the Pentagon put 4,000 military personnel in those buildings, plus 3,000 in additional tents. Now, in Morón alone, two buildings will be used that, depending on demand, can house up to 1,500 refugees in total.

The predicted figure of up to 4,000 could even be simultaneous. It will depend on the cadence at an airport, the Hamid Karzai in Kabul, which has only one usable runway, which creates a bottleneck.

The works are being carried out by Spanish personnel from the American contractor KBR, and consist of the rehabilitation of rooms, connection of air conditioning, repair of bathrooms, revision of beds, installation of fire detectors and fitting out of a mosque. “Due to a cultural question”, sources close to the works in Seville report, there will be an area for men and another for women and children who do not travel as a family; also, an area of ​​family units.

The same sources estimate that the refugees will be on Spanish soil for an average of seven days. The first thing is to extract them from Kabul; then finalize the US visa paperwork , already in Spanish territory. This process begins at the Afghan airport itself, where military units verify the identity of those who flee.

By Rak Esh

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