The American actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has spoken against the exclusion of Afghans seeking refuge abroad, particularly in European countries amid persistent issues the Afghan asylum seekers are facing.
Angelina who is also a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees expressed concerns regarding the exclusion of the Afghan refugees during a visit to Lebanon on Tuesday.
“We have to understand the fundamental realities that are driving the global refugee crisis – which is the product not just of the Syria war, but of decades of open-ended conflicts or persecution: in Myanmar, Mali, the Central African Republic, the DRC, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria. I could go on,” she said.
Angelina further added that the number of refugees is now higher than the last time we had a World War. “We are at an exceptionally difficult moment internationally, when the consequences of the refugee crisis seem to be outstripping our will and capacity and even our courage to respond to it,” she added.
“But with 60 million people displaced, as there are today, there is no way that the governments of the world– no matter how rich or willing they are – can prop up the UN enough to care for all these people permanently and expect that to address the problem,” the UNHCR special envoy admitted.
However, she said “We cannot improve this reality by partial responses, by responding to some crises and not others, or by helping some refugees and not others – for instance, by excluding Afghan refugees, among other groups – or by making a distinction between refugees on grounds of religion. The result would be more chaos, more injustice and insecurity, and ultimately more conflict, and more refugees.”
The remarks by Angelina comes as hundreds of Afghan refugees have been stranded along the Macedonia and Greece border after Macedonia closed its southern border with Greece to Afghan migrants last month.
Hundreds of Afghans are leaving the country and are mainly heading towards Europe amid deteriorating security situation in the country, often risking their lives by passing through dangerous routes, specifically the Iranian territory and the Turkish coast.
Several Afghans have lost their lives while crossing the border through Iran and their boats capsized in the Turkish waters. -KP
THE PASHTUN TIMES