African nations to host Afghan evacuees

Several African countries are queuing to host Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban rule weeks after Afghanistan was retaken by the militants…

Several African countries are queuing to host Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban rule weeks after Afghanistan was retaken by the militants last month.Sudan is the latest country to announce an interest in hosting Afghan refugees.

It becomes the second African nation to welcome citizens of the Muslim country in South-central Asia.

Until now, Uganda has been the only African country that has received Afghan refugees in transit to the United States. 

Rwanda also agreed to house Afghan refugees, according to the US State Department.

This willingness by some African countries to take in the Afghans comes days after South Africa rejected a request by Washington to host the evacuees.

“Our hands are full” said one South African diplomat who wished to remain anonymous.

“We wish we could help refugees from Afghanistan but we have other refugees from other countries to accommodate” he added.

This is a position held by Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesman Clayson Monyela.

He said the South African government had received a request to  accommodate a number of Afghanistan refugees who have sought refuge in Pakistan “en-route to their final destinations.”  

“The South African government is unfortunately not in a position to accommodate such a request. 

“South Africa is already home to a substantial number of refugees and  is seized with addressing their needs,” Monyela said in a statement. 

He said most of the existing refugees already benefit from the social  assistance and free medical health programmes offered by the South  African government. 

Meanwhile on Thursday the Sudanese Security and Defence Council discussed the matter in a meeting chaired by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Head of the Sovereign Council, according to Sudan Tribune.

Defence Minister Lt-Gen Yassin Ibrahim Yassin reportedly stated that the meeting discussed hosting a limited number of Afghans in the country for a specified period.

“Based on humanitarian grounds, the Council agreed in principle (to temporarily host Afghan refugees), while subjecting the matter to further arrangements and procedures (…),” Yassin further said.

The U.S. army evacuated more than 100,000 Afghans from Kabul since August.

However, they have not been taken directly to the U.S. as many friendly countries showed a willingness to give them temporary asylum to allow Washington to prepare their resettlement.

In a briefing call to the US House of Representatives on 20 August, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told lawmakers that some countries including Sudan offered to house the evacuees.

The evacuated Afghan may face extended-stay in third countries. 

Besides the logistical preparations before resettling the Afghan refugees, U.S. security services prefer to conduct security screening for those evacuated.

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