Afghan refugees living in limbo protest against slow resettlement process in UAE

In response to the protests, a US State Department official also visited the facility and assured the protestors that all of the evacuees will be resettled by the end of August.

Kabul: Numerous Afghan refugees who have been awaiting resettlement in the US or other countries, have protested against the stagnant resettlement process, living in prison-like conditions at a facility in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Hundreds of Afghan refugees who were evacuated from Afghanistan are now living in limbo in the United Arab Emirates where they have been housed for months in the hope to get resettled in the United States.

Two Afghans who were inside the facility said that hundreds of Afghans had protested for freedom on Monday and Tuesday and that they believed thousands of Afghans were awaiting resettlement to the US or other countries, Khaama Press reported citing sources.

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However, an official from the UAE acknowledged the frustrations of Afghan evacuees and stated that Abu Dhabi is in talks with the American Embassy to relocate the Afghans to the US or some other nations but the process is somehow taking longer than usual.

The Afghan evacuees are currently housed in the Abu Dhabi facility known as Emirates Humanitarian City, according to Khaama Press.

In response to the protests, a US State Department official also visited the facility and assured the protestors that all of the evacuees will be resettled by the end of August.

Following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, the UAE has volunteered to temporarily house thousands of Afghans who were evacuated on behalf of the US and other Western countries.

Notably, many of the Afghan refugees who flew to neighbouring nations seeking shelters after the Taliban takeover last August encountered atrocities as many do not have legal documents or visas. Since the Taliban’s return to power in August last year, Afghanistan’s situation has only deteriorated as serious human rights violations continue unabated.

A report by the High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR) Michelle Bachelet highlighted the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, particularly since the Taliban takeover of Kabul in August last year.
“While the decline in hostilities had seen a decrease in civilian casualties, the human rights situation for many Afghans was of profound concern,” Bachelet said, mentioning that at least 1156 civilians had died and countless were injured post 15th August 2021.

The UN High Commissioner also highlighted that the Afghans have been facing devastating humanitarian and economic crises with half the population suffering extreme hunger.

Talking about the rights of women and children, Bachelet informed that the Taliban regime has curtailed women’s rights and freedoms, with women largely excluded from the workforce due to the economic crisis and restrictions. She also called for the Taliban regime to fulfil its commitment that the schools would open for all children, whether boys or girls this year.

Earlier, UNHCR asked the European Union to accept 42,500 Afghans over five years but the request was resisted by the countries. With the reestablishment of the Taliban, a large number of Afghans fled the country and many are now living in poor conditions in the neighbouring countries.

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