Refugees Seek Safety From Afghanistan Conflict

Afghan refugees gather around a fire to warm themselves after arriving on a dinghy from the Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos Afghan refugees gather around a fire to warm themselves after arriving on a dinghy from the Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos © AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen

September 2015
The conflict in Kunduz has displaced over 100,000 residents fleeing massive destruction, public executions, and sexual violence.



Afghanistan continues to experience excessive violence and instability after the Taliban invaded the northern city of Kunduz in late September 2015.  The Taliban have been  responsible for the destruction of hospitals, massive release of prisoners, public execution of Afghan soldiers and civilians, and sexual assaults on Afghan women.

The NGO Women for Afghan Women (WAW) reports their Kunduz women’s center was raided at 2 a.m. forcing 16 women and 15 children to escape. The Taliban searched unsuccessfully for WAW employees with the intention of killing them. However, they executed people they did find, which included an employee’s husband and son.

 

The United Nations estimates that over 100,000 residents have fled the violence in Kunduz. Local resident Nadra Nahrinwal escaped with her five daughters because she feared that they would be potential targets for the Taliban. Rumors of sexual assault by anti-government armed fighters prompted Nahrinwal to flee to Kabul, over 240 kilometres away from the city.  she expressed her disillusion with Kunduz: “The north is gone… It will never be safe again.” However, not everyone shares Nahrinwal’s prediction.

Fatima escaped the violent city while nine months pregnant. She now resides in a refugee camp in Athens, Greece with her newborn daughter, Mahdia. Fatima acknowledges that the lack of security in her homeland  limits her educational and employment opportunities; however, she does not let that limit her future aspirations. Her goal is to pursue a medical career and is hopeful Kunduz will be safe once again: “I want Mahdia to return someday."

To read more, visit:

http://www.unhcr.org/561e57649.html
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=52271#.VjjXbUYYGag
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/18/us-afghanistan-kunduz-abuses-idUSKCN0SC0NE20151018
http://www.newsweek.com/taliban-situation-kunduz-afghanistan-379667

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