Conflicts & War

Afghanistan asks Europe to halt forced deportations due to insecurity

(Update 1: Adds remarks by the UN Secretary General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan)

Kabul, Jul 11 (EFE).- The Afghan government on Sunday said it had officially requested that European nations halt deportations of Afghan asylum seekers due to the escalation of armed violence in the country amid a rapid Taliban offensive as foreign operations, including the United States military mission there, come to an end.

The Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation said it had asked European governments to halt until October the forced deportations of Afghan nationals who had been refused asylum status.

“The security situation in Afghanistan is not good,” Reza Baher, the spokesman for the ministry, told EFE. “We asked the European Union and European countries to stop the compulsory deportations of Afghans for the coming three months.”

The Afghan government shared its request with the EU on Saturday, he added.

“We hope to have a positive answer from them and that we will not witness forced deportation any more,” he said.

Baher added that the government feared that deportees would lose their lives in the hostilities gripping Afghanistan and that some may end up being recruited by terrorist organizations.

The Afghan government said the escalation of violence by the Taliban in the country and the spread of a third wave of the Covid-19 had caused “economic and social unrest.”

Some 769,000 Afghans are currently living in European countries as refugees and asylum seekers.

Around 70 percent of Afghans requesting asylum in Europe are successful in obtaiing it while an estimated 30 percent are still awaiting a verdict.

In the past five years, European countries have deported hundreds of Afghan asylum seekers annually.

In the first six months of 2021 alone, some 309 Afghan asylum seekers were deported, of whom 167 had been in Germany and 32 in Sweden.

The government said its decision regarding the halt of forced deportation comes as the number of displaced Afghans is drastically on the rise in the Central Asian country due to renewed fighting.

According to the Afghan government, the war has displaced around five million Afghan civilians in the last two years.

The Afghan government on Thursday asked the international community and donor countries for help in dealing with the urgent needs of the internally displaced.

In the last two months, the Taliban have drastically increased their territorial gains capturing around 120 Afghan district centers, and the insurgents are closing in on the capitals of several provinces, something which was unprecedented over the past two decades.

Meanwhile, the United Nations on Sunday warned of a larger humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan if the international community does not donate $1.3 billion to help the civilian victims.

Thus far, the UN has received $450 million for the 2021 humanitarian response plan, the UN Secretary General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ramiz Alakbarov, said.

Half of Afghanistan’s population needs assistance, Alakbarov said, adding that the available aid stock will run out in a month-and-a-half.

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