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UK admits mistakes over Afghan animal charity case

The FCDO admitted that internal communication mistakes caused some staff to believe that Johnson had intervened…reports Asian Lite News

The government has acknowledged mistakes and admitted regrets over the evacuation of animal charity workers from Afghanistan.

As Taliban forces approached Kabul last August, Nowzad charity chief Pen Farthing organized an evacuation of dogs from the Afghan capital after appealing directly to the UK government.

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office was questioned afterward over the role that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had played in the reallocation of evacuation resources. The government denied that he had personally ordered the case to be prioritized.

However, the Foreign Affairs Committee claimed earlier this year that several senior officials believed that Johnson intervened in the case to secure the evacuation, and that there was no “plausible alternative explanation.”

The FAC’s report said that despite failing to meet the official criteria for evacuation, Nowzad charity employees were granted aircraft seats “at the last minute after a mysterious intervention from elsewhere in government.” However, Nowzad staff eventually ended up traveling to Pakistan.

The FCDO admitted that internal communication mistakes caused some staff to believe that Johnson had intervened.

A spokesperson said: “The government acknowledges again that the way the decision to call forward Nowzad staff for evacuation was made was exceptional. It agrees that, in this particular case, more care should have been taken within the FCDO in how the decision was communicated to staff.

“It acknowledges again that an error in the way the decision was communicated internally left some FCDO staff believing that the prime minister had made the decision.

“The FCDO agrees with the committee on the importance of accurate record keeping, even in a complex, fast-moving crisis such as this.”

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