Afghan Refugee Protest in UAE Calling for U.S. Resettlement Continues for Third Day

DUBAI (Reuters) – Afghan refugees held within the United Arab Emirates for months since fleeing Afghanistan final yr protested for a 3rd day on Friday, calling for resettlement to the USA.

The demonstrations by lots of of Afghans started on Wednesday on the centre the place they’re being housed as months of frustrations with what refugees say is an absence of communication over the resettlement course of boiled over.

A protestor instructed Reuters by cellphone extra refugees had joined the protest on Friday, a day after a U.S. official visited the centre and instructed them it may take years for functions to be processed.

Many refugees, nevertheless, have been unlikely to ever be resettled in the USA, the official instructed them, in accordance with the protestor.

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Ahmad Mohibi, an advocate who has helped Afghans evacuate, together with to the UAE, and who’s contact with a number of refugees there, mentioned Afghans deliberate to proceed peaceable protests.

The refugees, he mentioned, have been appreciative of the care the UAE has supplied them however have been exasperated by the uncertainty over how for much longer they must stay on the Abu Dhabi centre.

The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Emirati authorities haven’t commented on the protests. The refugees have complained about prison-like situations within the centre.

The UAE agreed with Washington and different Western nations final yr to briefly home Afghan nationals evacuated from Afghanistan as they made their approach to a 3rd nation.

It’s unclear what number of Afghans refugees are being housed within the UAE, although demonstrators and advocates estimate there are 12,000 briefly dwelling at two places in Abu Dhabi.

Afghans have protested exterior a U.S. authorities consultant workplace at one of many centres in Abu Dhabi, holding banners pleading for freedom and urging the U.S. to resettle them.

The U.S. is prioritising these with visas or functions however two sources conversant in instances of refugees in Abu Dhabi mentioned most there had neither.

Advocates say whereas it’s believed hundreds of refugees there have a authorized path to the USA, many others don’t.

They are saying the refugees embrace individuals who had labored with the U.S. authorities, navy and for Afghan forces earlier than the withdrawal of Western forces final August. The Western-backed authorities collapsed and the hardline Islamist Taliban motion took over the nation.

Mohibi mentioned he was coordinating with different advocates and charities to lift the Afghans’ issues immediately with the U.S. authorities.

(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; enhancing by Grant McCool)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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