Heavy overcrowding at US air bases as evacuees face 1,000-day waiting periods for visas

The numbers are hard to pin down in the Middle East, where governments are less transparent. Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar has a theoretical capacity of 8,000 people, but it is reported to be facing overcrowding. Kuwait agreed to pass 5,000 people. The United Arab Emirates agreed to host 5,000 people for up to 10 days, while Bahrain agreed to host 1,000 people for 14 days.

Military bases within the United States including Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; Fort Lee, Virginia; Joint Base McGuire-dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey and Fort Bliss, Texas, receives evacuees upon arrival. About 1,200 people have arrived in the United States so far, according to the latest available numbers.

“The soldiers are working hard, without any disrespect for them,” Mamsour, one of the evacuees who worked with US forces in Afghanistan and is now at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, told reporters from Stars and Stripes, the US military’s internal newspaper.

But he criticized the US political leadership. “Not everything is really well managed,” he said. “They should start moving people from here.”

Additional reporting by James Badcock in Madrid and Elvis Armellini in Rome


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