UNHCR ready to help Tajikistan swiftly over Afghan refugee influx: Adviser

Dushanbe [Tajikistan], October 11: The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is ready to help Tajikistan in the event of an influx of Afghan refugees, including by creating camps for their accommodation, Nodira Akbaralieva, public relations adviser to the UNHCR in Tajikistan.
“The situation in Afghanistan remains highly unpredictable in terms of the possible influx of refugees and the number of people who may arrive in Tajikistan. If there is an influx of refugees, we can quickly respond and engage our inter-agency refugee emergency response plan and assist the government in accepting and accommodating refugees, including through the establishment of refugee camps,” Akbaralieva said.
Akbaralieva also noted that UNHCR recognizes the sovereign prerogative of the states to decide the locations of refugee camps, while advocating that they be located in safe and secure places and remain civilian in nature.
According to Akbaralieva, the camps can only be used as a temporary measure in the event of a massive arrival of refugees, and the organization advocates for alternative ways of placing refugees around the world.
Akbaralieva stressed that in current conditions, it is difficult to predict the number of refugees who will arrive in Tajikistan.
“In any case, the provision of asylum to refugees is part of the international obligations of the countries participating in the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. In this regard, UNHCR calls on states, including Tajikistan, to provide access to the territory for asylum seekers and not to send back refugees or asylum seekers, including those who have been denied refugee status,” Akbaralieva said.
In mid-August, the Taliban (terror group, banned in Russia) entered Kabul, and announced the next day that the war was over. The last province to resist the group, Panjshir, surrendered on September 6. As international troops withdrew from the country and foreign evacuations came to a close, the Taliban announced the composition of their interim cabinet, headed by Mohammad Hasan Akhund, a former foreign minister during the previous Taliban rule, who has been under UN sanctions since 2001.(Agencies)