Rights Body Presses SA To Take In Afghans

Amnesty International has urged the South African government to reconsider its stance that it can not accommodate refugees from Afghanistan, who are fleeing Taliban rule.

On Wednesday, South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said it was unable to accede to a request to take in the fleeing afghans, owing to the huge number of refugees that the country was already catering for.

However, the rights body said: “The government must open its doors to refugees from Afghanistan fleeing uncertainty in the country following Taliban takeover”.

Dirco said Afghanistan refugees who have sought refuge in Pakistan, were best hosted in the country of first arrival.

“The international community, including South Africa, must do everything they can to ensure that all those at risk of being targeted by the Taliban are promptly evacuated and that those who want to flee Afghanistan are welcome and protected,” said Shenilla Mohamed, Executive Director of Amnesty International South Africa 

“The international community should keep their borders open and share the responsibility for the protection and assistance of refugees. 

“They can do it through humanitarian aid and by opening and increasing safe and legal pathways to protection,” Mohamed adds.

“We are calling on the South African government to fulfil its international obligation to protect those who are in need.”