Afghanistan Will Accept Citizens Deported By Germany

Afghanistan will take back its citizens that are deported from Germany, an official from the Kabul government has said, as Germany cracks down on asylum seekers it doesn't consider to be at risk from violence or persecution, according to the Associated Press.

The International Organization of Migration estimates that more than 76,000 Afghans have migrated to Europe so far in 2015, comprising the second largest group of asylum seekers in Europe after Syrians.

Last week, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere announced at a news conference that it was "unacceptable" that Afghans account for 20 percent of those who have arrived in Europe by sea this year. He added that the majority of asylum seekers from Afghanistan should "stay in their country [in order to] help build the country up." De Maiziere said he believes that the vast majority of Afghans in Europe are members the middle class and come from areas like Kabul—a part of the country deemed to be safe by many governments.

However, de Maiziere stressed that the deportations would not affect asylum seekers who are at risk from the Taliban, who will still be granted asylum.

Deputy Presidential Spokesman Zafar Hashemi said today that President Ashraf Ghani and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had recently discussed the issue, and that as a signatory to the Geneva Convention, Afghanistan would accept its citizens whose asylum applications have been rejected, AP reports.

However, the Afghan Minister for Refugees and Repatriation, Hossain Alemi Balkhi has said he disapproves of Germany's decision to return the Afghan asylum seekers. He told AP that Kabul is "against the forced exile of any people from any country back to where they came from.

"The problem that caused them to leave Afghanistan in the first place has not been solved—there is still war, conflict, insecurity," he said.

At present it is unclear how many Afghans Germany proposes to send back.

Earlier this year, a British judge postponed a flight of 56 rejected Afghan asylum seekers that was due to leave the U.K. after Balkhi warned that 80 percent of the country was not safe to send people back to, according to the Guardian newspaper.

Tens of thousands of migrants from the Balkans, deemed to be safe countries, will also be returned home by the end of the year, de Maiziere said last week, vowing to speed up the application process. "I expect that in the coming weeks, the number of deportations and of voluntary departures will rise significantly," he said.

Afghanistan Will Accept Citizens Deported By Germany |