The South African government says it can’t take in Afghan refugees amid their desperate escape from their native country.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) says it has since received a request to accommodate the refugees in SA en-route to their final destinations
Thousands fled Afghanistan in the past days in a bid to escape life under the Taliban who seized the country in a dramatic operation.
“The South African Government is unfortunately not in a position to accommodate such a request,” says Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela.
“South Africa is already home to a substantial number of refugees and is seized with addressing their needs. Most of them already benefit from the Social Assistance and free medical health programmes offered by our country.
“In terms of international law, the well-being of the refugees is best served by remaining in the first country arrival – Pakistan – pending their final destinations,” Monyela adds.
Meanwhile, there were mixed reactions in Uganda when the government announced the country was taking in the 2000 Afghan refugees at the US request following the Taliban take over in Afghanistan.
Uganda currently hosts over 1.3 million refugees, the third largest in the world with most refugees coming from South Sudan. The first group of refugees have already arrived in Uganda according to a statement released by the government.
On Wednesday, the Islamist hardliners celebrated the US withdrawal, which was completed earlier in the week.