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Afghanistan: what responsibility do other nations have towards people fleeing the Taliban?

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With the Taliban back in Kabul, thousands of Afghan nationals who serviced the ousted government, the US and its allies are desperately attempting to seek asylum. Many attempted to board US jets at an airport in Kabul, some even clinging to the outside of aircraft as they took off. Videos show gruesome scenes of people falling from the sky after trying to escape.

The US has pledged to accept up to 22,000 Afghan servicemen and their families. Among the allied countries, Canada will accept 20,000 people and the UK “up to” 20,000 in the next few years, beginning with 5,000 in the immediate term.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing for commitments on helping people who serviced the Afghan government, but nothing has been confirmed yet. France and some other EU member states have pledged to resettle Afghan refugees in relatively small numbers.

The US has also been asking other nations, such as Qatar and Ghana to accept people on its behalf. This “external management” approach has been adopted by European member states in recent years as a way to delay or block asylum-seeking at their own borders.

It’s important to note that the current evacuation is largely focusing on specific groups of people rather than anyone fearing persecution more generally. Beyond those who have worked for the former government and allies, there are many more people who........

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