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World

Kabul urges Europe to halt forced deportations of Afghans

  • There were almost 2.5 million registered refugees from Afghanistan in 2018
Published July 11, 2021

KABUL: Afghanistan has urged European countries to halt forced deportations of Afghan migrants for the next three months, as security forces battle a wave of violence triggered by a dizzying Taliban offensive.

The United Nations said on Sunday the rising conflict is also causing "more suffering" across the violence-wracked country as it urged for continuous financial aid.

Afghanistan is facing a crisis as the insurgents snap up territory across the countryside, stretching government forces and leading to a fresh wave of internally displaced families, complicated by a renewed outbreak of Covid-19.

"The escalation of violence by the Taliban group in the country and the spread of the third wave of (Covid-19) have caused a great deal of economic and social unrest, creating concerns and challenges for the people," Afghanistan's refugees and repatriation ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Strategy to deal with Afghan refugees’ influx being devised

"The government's decision emphasises that host countries should refrain from forcibly deporting Afghan refugees... for the next three months," the ministry said, adding that the return of Afghans from Europe was worrying.

There were almost 2.5 million registered refugees from Afghanistan in 2018 -- the second-largest refugee population in the world, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

The vast majority are in neighbouring Pakistan, followed by Iran, and Europe.

While more than 570 Afghan refugees voluntarily returned to the country between January and March this year, aided by the UN, just six came from outside Pakistan and Iran, according to data from the UN's refugee agency.

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