(CNN Español) – The pictures shocked the world. Thousands of people crowded into Kabul airport, desperately trying to flee Afghanistan. Some even clung to planes moving over the runway.
A widely circulated picture showed a crowded military cargo plane carrying about 640 Afghans from Kabul to Qatar on Sunday.
Where would they go if they could escape from the Taliban regime?
The answer is complicated. First of all, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) issued a no-return notice to Afghanistan on Monday. That is, he called for “a ban on the forcible return of Afghan nationals, including rejected asylum seekers.”
“States have a legal and moral responsibility to allow people to flee Afghanistan to seek safety and not to forcibly return refugees,” UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Mantou told a news conference.
According to UNHCR data, about 80% of the nearly a quarter of a million Afghans forced to flee since the end of May 2021 are women and children.
The organization highlights that Afghans have been in a displacement crisis for four decades. Meanwhile, more than 550,000 Afghans have been internally displaced since early 2021. Meanwhile, there are a total of 72,375 Afghan refugees in Afghanistan, and there are about 2,215,445 refugees in Iran and Pakistan, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Every week between 20,000 and 30,000 people are leaving the country, Caroline Van Buren, UNHCR’s representative in Afghanistan, told CNN’s Robin Cornu.
The United States and Afghan Refugees
as CNN reportedWith the situation in Afghanistan starting to deteriorate more rapidly in recent days, the Department of Homeland Security has begun work to expedite the process for applicants to obtain Afghan special immigrant visas.
According to Gary ReedD., who is leading the Pentagon’s efforts to obtain a special immigrant visa, has been asked by the Department of Defense to assist the Department of State with its special immigrant visa program to “expedite and assist the process due to the time delays” inherent in the application process.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has asked federal employees of US Citizenship and Immigration Services to volunteer to support the relocation of Afghans who have helped the United States, according to a notice sent to part of the workforce on Monday and known to CNN.
Meanwhile, the Defense Department said it will transfer up to 30,000 special visa applicants for Afghan immigrants to the United States, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby confirmed to CNN. In that sense, he said, Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, have the capacity to house these applicants.
Refugees to India
CNN reported that the Indian Embassy will continue emergency electronic visa operations for Afghan nationals wishing to leave the country for India.
On the other hand, Turkey said it would work with Pakistan to help stabilize Afghanistan. In this way, it aims to prevent a new wave of Afghan immigrants.
According to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country was “facing a wave of Afghan migrants via Iran”.
In the face of the Afghan refugee crisis, Pakistan is calling for an international plan. Muayyad Yusuf, the national security advisor to the Pakistani prime minister, said in a press conference that there should be an “international conversation” on crisis management.
“Who will pump money for this… Where will the displaced go and who will take the initiative?” he asked.
Uganda provides shelter
Minister of State for Aid, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Esther Anyakon Davina said Uganda will temporarily host 2,000 refugees who fled Taliban control in Afghanistan after agreeing to a request from the US government.
Davina told CNN that the refugees, who will be traveling in groups of 500 people at a time, are expected to arrive on Tuesday.
With the help of UNHCR and other government organizations, hundreds of refugees will be documented and screened before being resettled elsewhere three months later.
Uganda is the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa and the fourth largest in the world, with 1.4 million refugees, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, has expressed his government’s intention to temporarily host the evacuees of Afghan nationals who worked with the European Union.
“Spain offers EU High Representative Josep Borrell to temporarily host Afghans who worked in the EU, before distributing them to member states,” Sanchez wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister’s comments come after a virtual meeting of European Union foreign ministers to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan.
In an earlier statement, the EU’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, said member states would make “every effort” to ensure the safety of all Afghan nationals who have worked with the EU, including granting them asylum within Europe.
Chile joins forces in welcoming Afghan families
Chile’s President, Sebastian Pinera, indicated that his country would help Afghans who are dedicated to promoting women’s rights and who feel threatened and welcomed and their families.
On Tuesday, the president said during a press conference that he sympathized with the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
Pinera announced that, together with the international NGO Front Line Defenders, they have committed to taking in about 10 families.
The president added that Afghani’s sister, who is studying at the University of Chile, will also attend.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard C., announced a plan to host Afghan refugees.
“I am informing you that with the active participation of Guillermo Puente Urdurica, the Mexican ambassador to Iran, we have begun to process the first asylum applications of Afghan nationals, especially the women and girls who have requested it,” he wrote in Your official Twitter account.
With information from Celine Khalidi, Vidika Sood, Swati Gupta, Eli Kaufman, Michael Conte, Bethlehem Felic, Claudia Ripaza, Nada Bashir, Anna Victoria Kocalon and Scott McClain dcnn.
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