Zach Van Meter, a private-equity investor from Naples, Fla., phoned the government of Somaliland last week, asking if it would host thousands of Afghan refugees.
“He just called me out of the blue,” said Bashir Goth, the Washington representative for a region of Somalia seeking independence.
Two days later, on Aug. 25, Somaliland’s acting foreign minister signed a tentative accord with charities working with Mr. Van Meter, agreeing to temporarily house as many as 10,000 Afghan evacuees in Berbera, a port on the Gulf of Aden.
It was part of an on-the-fly effort that Mr. Van Meter said has helped about 5,000 Afghans escape their country in the past two weeks, in one of the most successful known private efforts to extract Afghans.
The self-named Commercial Task Force dispatched former commandos to Kabul to retrieve evacuees, said Mr. Van Meter, president of New Standard Holdings, a private-equity company, and others affiliated with the group.
Zach Van Meter, ”, Bashir Goth, Van, Van Meter, Kabul’s Hamid Karzai
Washington, Willard InterContinental, Task Force, New Standard Holdings, United Arab, Airport
Naples, Fla, Somaliland, “, Somalia, Berbera, Aden, Washington, Kabul, United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi