Dirco: SA not in a position to take in Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban

The South African government was asked to give them safe haven as a temporary measure until they were taken to their final destinations.

Afghan people climb atop a plane as they wait at the Kabul airport in Kabul on 16 August 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city's airport trying to flee the group's feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. Picture: Wakil Kohsar/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Government said that South Africa was unable to take in any Afghan refugees who had fled the Taliban.

In a statement, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said that the country was not in a position to accommodate Afghan refugees.

The government was asked to give them safe haven as a temporary measure until they were taken to their final destinations.

Thousands of Afghans have fled their war-ravaged country after the Taliban seized power last month.

Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela said that South Africa was already hosting a substantial number of refugees who were benefitting from social assistance and free medical healthcare.

"The South African govenment notes the overtures made to the country to consider receiving a number of Afghanistan refugees who have sought refuge in Pakistan. The South African government is unfortunately not in a position to accommodate such a request. In terms of international law, the well-being of refugees is best served by remaining in the first country of arrival."

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