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Canada agrees to resettle Afghans held in UAE facility



(Last Updated On: September 9, 2022)

Canada will accept some 1,000 Afghans who fled the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), takeover of their homeland and have been held for months in a makeshift refugee center in the United Arab Emirates awaiting resettlement to the United States and elsewhere, Reuters quoting seven sources said.

Ottawa has agreed to a U.S. request to resettle some of the 5,000 Afghans still in Emirates Humanitarian City in Abu Dhabi, the sources said, and Canadian officials were now reviewing cases to identify those who meet Ottawa’s resettlement criteria.

It is the first known occasion of Afghans in the facility being resettled to a country to which they do not have direct ties with, such as by having worked with their government in Afghanistan, read the report.

Canada’s criteria for resettlement of those from the facility include religious minorities, single women, civil servants, social activists and journalists, the sources said.

Beyond the 1,000 people that Canada is taking at the request of the United States, Ottawa is also expected to take roughly a further 500 Afghans from the facility who do have ties to Canada, the sources said.

“It is happening,” said a U.S. source quoted by Reuters, who asked not to be further identified, confirming the Canadian resettlement operation expected to begin this month and end in October.

Asked about the arrangement, the Canadian embassy in Abu Dhabi shared an immigration department statement saying Ottawa’s priority was to support vulnerable Afghans getting to Canada.

Emirati authorities and the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi did not respond to requests for comment, read the report.

Mohammad, who said he was a legal adviser to U.S. government projects in Afghanistan, told Reuters from the facility that he had applied with his family for Canadian resettlement because the processing of their U.S. Special Immigration Visa applications has taken so long.

“Because of the delays, we decided to put our names on the list,” Mohammad said in a telephone interview on the condition that his last name be withheld. Like other Afghans there, he described the conditions in the facility as similar to “jail”.

“We have no freedom. We cannot go anywhere.”

Canada’s decision to accept the Afghans brings the temporary refugee center closer to closing, though sources said there was about another 1,000 who were not eligible to be relocated to the United States and would need resettlement elsewhere, Reuters reported.

The UAE, a close security partner of the United States, last year agreed to temporarily house several thousand Afghans evacuated from Kabul as the IEA ousted the U.S.-backed government during the final stages of the U.S.-led withdrawal.

More than 10,000 have since been relocated from the facility to the United States, while others were resettled to nations to which they had ties such as through working with their government in Afghanistan.

According to Reuters protests have sporadically broken out at the facility, including last month, over what Afghans complain is a lack of communication and transparency of the resettlement process. There has been at least one suicide attempt, according to sources and Afghans in the center.

The Canadian immigration department statement said Ottawa plans to resettle at least 40,000 vulnerable Afghans to Canada by 2024. More than 17,650 had been resettled, it added.

Like other Gulf states, the UAE is not a signatory to the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention and typically does not accept refugees. Foreign diplomats said some Afghans had rejected job offers in the UAE as there was no clear pathway to citizenship.

U.S. officials have said no one would be forcibly returned to Afghanistan and that Washington was working with the UAE and other nations to find “resettlement options” for those Afghans ineligible for resettlement in the United States.

The United States has so far taken in more than 85,000 Afghans since August 2021, Reuter reported.

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Afghan embassy in India suspends operations, diplomats from previous government leave



(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

The Afghan embassy in India has suspended all operations after the ambassador and other senior diplomats left the country for Europe and the United States where they gained asylum, Reuters reported citing three embassy officials on Friday.

India does not recognise the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and closed its own embassy in Kabul after the IEA took control in 2021, but New Delhi had allowed the ambassador and mission staff appointed by the Western-backed government of ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to issue visas and handle trade matters.

At least five Afghan diplomats have left India, the embassy officials said. The Indian government will now take over the diplomatic compound in a caretaker capacity, one of the Afghan officials said.

Asked about the matter, an Indian foreign ministry official in New Delhi said they were looking into the developments, without giving any details.

IEA officials have yet to make comment on the matter.

India is one of a dozen countries with a small mission in Kabul to facilitate trade, humanitarian aid and medical support. Bilateral trade in 2019-2020 reached $1.5 billion, but fell drastically after the IEA took office.

Earlier this month hundreds of Afghan college students living in India despite the expiry of their student visas staged a demonstration in New Delhi to urge the Indian government to extend their stay.

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Two families reconcile in Nangarhar, end 17 years of enmity



(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

Nangarhar local authorities say a 17-year-old enmity between two families in Spinghar district of the province ended in a jirga held Friday and that the two sides reconciled with the mediation of the Islamic Emirate’s officials.

“Those who bring reconciliation among Muslims whether it’s on the ethnic or family level, have a place in our hearts,” said Nasrullah Haqyar, police chief of Spinghar district.

Meanwhile, the members of the involved families are also happy that their 17-year-old enmity has turned into reconciliation.

In the meantime, local tribal elders also said that if someone incites enmity again, they will be fined 200,000 afghanis.

“Jirga is something in which an issue can be resolved in very little time and with little consumption,” said Esmatullah Shinwari, a tribal elder in Nangarhar.

The Ministry of Borders and Tribal Affairs also pointed out that since IEA’s takeover, they have turned more than 40 big and small enmities into reconciliation with the cooperation of tribal elders in this province.

This comes that not only in Nangarhar but also in many provinces, the process of reconciling the involved families is going on quickly and many family conflicts have been resolved through Jirga.

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Serious management of water resources underway: Acting Minister Mansoor



(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

Acting Minister of Water and Energy of Afghanistan Abdul Latif Mansoor has said that the Islamic Emirate has started serious management of water resources.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Ariana News, Mansoor said that due to the recent droughts, people of the country are facing a shortage of clean drinking water and to solve the problem, the ministry has started serious management of water resources.

Mansoor also pointed to the concern of some neighboring countries regarding the recent actions of the Islamic Emirate to manage the waters of Afghanistan, including over the Qosh Tepa Canal, saying that the concerned countries must share their concerns with the Islamic Emirate through bilateral talks.

The acting minister said that this year, 3 billion afghanis in development budget were allocated to the ministry, and most of the budget will be spent on unfinished projects of water dams.

Meanwhile, the Acting Minister of Water and Energy said that there is a capacity to produce 30,000 megawatts of electricity in the country and that the ministry has taken measures to attract more investments in the energy production sector so that Afghanistan can become self-sufficient in electricity production in the long term.

Mansoor says that in order to attract more investments in the energy production sector in the country, they are ready to cooperate with the private sector and will provide them with all facilities.

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