Skopje will accept 190 people: A wave of millions is leaving Afghanistan
A large wave of refugees from Afghanistan will soon reach the borders of the Balkan countries in transit to the European ones. These are not economic, but political and humanitarian refugees fleeing the country en masse by air and land, once it is under Taliban control.
Macedonian authorities are already working to co-ordinate and establish details on the temporary admission of Afghan citizens. It is about 190 people: six women and children, employees or family members of United Nations Mission in Afghanistan staff, as well as about 180 citizens, women, children, employees or family members of humanitarian organizations, human rights organizations , journalists and other types of associations that have worked to maintain peace in Afghanistan for the past 20 years.
Millions of people will leave
But the number of those who will go to Europe by land will be much higher. In a conversation with Bulgarian media, this was pointed out by the Afghan Ambassador to Sofia, Mohammad Saifi.
“They are fleeing to Pakistan or Iran. From Iran to Turkey, then to Bulgaria or Greece and so on. These are not economic migrants, but an attempt to stay alive. Young Afghans do not want to go back. Especially not women and young girls. They do not want burqas, they do not want to be locked in homes. We are no longer the people we were 20 years ago. We already know what democracy is, what freedom is. Neither the Taliban nor anyone else will bring us back like we did 20 years ago. But I am convinced that from now on there will be millions, millions of our political and humanitarian refugees. Unfortunately. “Our people do not want bread, they just want freedom, freedom without war,” Saifi said.
“I am convinced that from now on there will be millions, millions of our political and humanitarian refugees,” Saifi said.
A group of 190 people is waiting
It is not yet known when the first citizens of Afghanistan will arrive in Skopje by air. The government press service said the time of their departure could not yet be confirmed, given the complex conditions at Kabul airport, but was expected to arrive in the coming days. Upon arrival at the airport in Skopje, everyone will be sent to a 14-day quarantine for prevention of Covid-19, and those who are not vaccinated will receive vaccines.
“The whole democratic world is in solidarity with the humanitarian catastrophe that threatens the local Afghan population, and Northern Macedonia as a NATO member will take solidarity responsibility to temporarily accept civilians from Afghanistan who have worked for peace in that country for the past 20 years.” “of allied NATO forces, including our army.”
We are currently working on providing accommodation in motels, resorts and hotels, for which the costs will be provided by international organizations, as well as by the United States of America. The government press service explains that the accommodation and takeover of the local population will be for a limited period of time, until their transfer to the United States or to third countries is ensured, which will be determined in coordination with strategic partners and international organizations.
All operational and administrative issues related to the participation of Northern Macedonia in the international humanitarian mission to rescue the local population from Afghanistan, will be considered and appropriate decisions will be made at today’s and next sessions of the Government.
Turkey building a wall?
Many countries share concerns about the Taliban’s imposed human rights restrictions, particularly on women and children, and are involved in the international community’s efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to civilians fleeing Afghanistan.
More than 70 countries, including EU members, have already pledged aid to the Afghan people. Neighboring countries Albania and Kosovo are also preparing to receive the first groups of Afghans.
Forecasts that a large wave of refugees could reach Turkey quickly by land via Iran are mobilizing Turkish authorities. According to the BBC, Turkish authorities have ordered the construction of a wall on the border with Iran in order to prevent a large wave of refugees, but also the possible penetration of infiltrated Taliban among them. At the moment, heavy mechanization of the border line in the length of five kilometers was being done, and the border belt on which the wall was being built is 295 kilometers long.