Ex-marine refuses to leave Kabul without his animal rescue staff 1 month ago

Ex-marine refuses to leave Kabul without his animal rescue staff

He said he would not leave them behind to "suffer a fate" that the West has put upon them.

A Royal Marine veteran who founded an animal sanctuary in Kabul has said he will not be leaving the country without his staff.

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Paul Farthing has made a plea to the UK government to help his staff leave the country, and wants ministers to "do the right thing" by flying all 71 of his staff to the UK from Afghanistan.

The Foreign Office has said it is in contact with Farthing to offer help.

He set up his charity, Nowzad, 15 years ago to help increase awareness of animal welfare in the country and to rescue stray dogs and abused donkeys. The charity itself is backed by names such as Ricky Gervais and Judi Dench

His clinic went on to train the country's first fully-qualified female vets, but he now fears for their futures following the Taliban takeover of Kabul.

Farthing told BBC News: "I don't think there are words to describe what they are feeling right now.

"What do you say to someone who is probably going to be told they will have to marry a Taliban fighter and end up living at home, never being allowed to leave and just raising children with someone they absolutely detest?"

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He added that the West "should hang our heads in shame for what we have just done to this country," and that he was not hopeful the Taliban regime had changed for the better.

A social media campaign is underway to try and raise the funds to get the Nowzad staff out of the country.

He fears that whilst everyone is watching the Taliban regime now, in a couple of months time attention will move away from the country and they will go back to their ways.

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Two of Farthing's marines had died in the Afghanistan conflict of the past 20 years, and he said that all the British and US casualties had now been "in vain."

"We have achieved nothing now - we have just thrown everything away."

Farthing's charity works to reunite servicemen and women with dogs and cats they had befriended while serving, and Nowzad says it has now reunited 1,600 soldiers with the dogs and cats they have rescued and bonded with while serving.

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He says that he has not received any contact from the UK government regarding efforts to get his staff to the UK. His workers do not fall under the two existing relocation schemes for interpreters and British government workers.

The Foreign Office said in a statement on Tuesday evening: "We are in contact with Mr Farthing to offer assistance.

"The government's top priority is to do all we can to deliver on our obligations to British nationals, and those who have helped us, and get them out as fast as we can."

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