Criticized that the withdrawal of US military troops from Afghanistan leaves room for escalating violence with the advance of the Taliban, the US government announced on Monday that it would welcome “thousands and thousands” of refugees who decide to leave the country.
To date, some 20,000 Afghans who have worked for the military over the past 20 years of the US mission in the country have already sought asylum in the United States.
“In light of the increasing levels of Taliban violence, the US government is working to offer some Afghans, including those who have worked with the United States, the opportunity to resettle as refugees,” said the State Department. The idea is to create a new refugee admission program, according to the agency, to serve “thousands and thousands of Afghans and their families who may be at risk.”
The announcement that the United States will demobilize its troops in Afghanistan on August 31 after two decades sparked the biggest offensive by the Taliban in years, a fundamentalist group trying to take control of entire regions of the country.
This has increased pressure from lawmakers and activists for the United States to offer protection to Afghans who have assisted the United States military. On Monday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani blamed American allies for the security crisis that is threatening his government for the first time. “The reason for our current situation is the sudden decision taken,” Ghani said at a parliamentary session in Kabul.
The new refugee admissions program, according to the State Department, will expand the refugee selection criteria to include Afghans who have worked with US-based NGOs and media, as well as projects funded by Washington. Anyone who has worked on military bases as an interpreter or in other functions and who has not been selected previously can also apply for asylum again.
The entire process of obtaining a permit to live in the United States, however, can take 12 to 14 months, and asylum seekers will have to leave the country on their own, according to the agency.
As part of the program, refugees will need to receive a referral from a US government agency or US-based NGO or media.
The US government has also said it has alerted countries neighboring Afghanistan and the United Nations that there could be an intense flow of emigration, via Pakistan or Turkey (from Iran).
The United States has already welcomed Afghan interpreters and their families working on military bases as refugees. They entered the country on a special visa and are quarantined at military bases. The US government claims the country can accommodate 50,000 immigrants from Afghanistan. In total, some 75,000 Afghans have been brought to the United States over the past decade, according to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who last week called the country a “moral obligation” to “help those who helped us “.
Since the weekend, Afghanistan has been the scene of violent clashes with the Taliban. At least three capitals have been targeted, Lashkar Gah, Kandahar and Herat (where a UN building was attacked last Friday).
The US and UK embassies in Kabul accused the Taliban of committing war crimes in the south of the country, in Spin Boldak, after they conquered the region on the 14th. war ; they must be investigated and members of the Taliban and their commanders must be held accountable, “the US embassy wrote on social media.
The charges are based on a report by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). According to the document, the insurgents murdered at least 40 people in retaliation, including government officials and officials.