Devastating Afghan conflict results in refugees filling Kabul streets
By Baber Khan Sahel
Kabul, Aug 10 (EFE).- The Afghan capital has started to resemble an open-air refugee camp as thousands of Afghans have taken refuge in the city and have been sleeping in streets and parks after widespread violence and bombings affected large parts of the country as government forces are engaged in an all-out war with the Taliban.
The massive exodus has resulted in entire families living on the sidewalks of the city, even as the government has appealed for international assistance in tackling the humanitarian crisis.
Most of the refugees have arrived from capitals of the southern provinces of Jawzjan, Sar-e-Pol, Samangan, Kunduz and Takhar, which fell to the Taliban after intense fighting in the last five days.
“We have registered 17,000 (displaced) families so far, but we are worried that this number has already increased and might be around 30,000 families (around 210,000 persons) in Kabul,” the minister for disaster management, Ghulam Bahauddin Jailani, said in a press conference on Tuesday.
The numbers could increase drastically in the next few days, as a large number of refugees keep arriving in the capital from northern Afghanistan.
“It is very hot under the sunlight here, our children are playing on the dusty ground, we are worried about our children,” Abdul Wali, head of a family of six displaced from the northern Kunduz province, told EFE.
“Government has provided no assistance for us so far, we need food, shelter and household items,” the 25-year-old man said standing next to his relatives, who were sitting on a blanket under a tree in Kabul’s Sarai-Shamali area.
A little farther, 28-year-old Sajidullah, also a refugee from Kunduz, said he had reached the capital around just two days ago with his family of five.
“We left our house and village due to heavy fighting, we left all our belongings behind and the entire village left their houses,” he said.