Afghanistan president flees the country as Taliban forces enter the capital

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 16, 2021   •   863

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country on Sunday (August 15) as Taliban fighters entered the presidential palace.

Ghani, in his Facebook page, said he left the country to avoid bloodshed. Hundreds of Afghans fled the state capital to protect themselves against the Islamist movement group.

According to a Taliban official, the group wishes to bring back the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which was the country’s name under the militant group before United States (US) forces ousted them during the height of the 9/11 attacks.

Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres has urged the Taliban and all other parties to exercise utmost restraint in order to protect lives and ensure that humanitarian needs can be addressed.

“Conflict in Afghanistan is forcing hundreds of thousands to flee amid reports of serious human rights violations. All abuses must stop,” he said. AAC

Philippines to accept Afghan refugees only via gov’t-to-gov’t arrangement

Marje Pelayo   •   September 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the Philippines will accept asylum seekers from Afghanistan only under a government-to-government agreement.

He stressed, the Philippines will not entertain any request from private entities or non-government organizations.

“With the formal end of evacuations from Afghanistan, the next stage is processing and asylum—short or long stay. The Philippines will not accept nor listen to any proposition to accept any refugees unless it is government to government and only by their respective Foreign and Justice ministers; especially of the UK, the US and other Western countries most active in the evacuation,” Locsin said in a tweet on Monday (August 30).

“We will not entertain any request for asylum coming from NGOs however well-meaning or reputable or any other non-state parties,” he added.

Locsin emphasized that if ever the Philippines will open its doors to Afghan refugees, “it will be all humanitarian and not a bit monetarist.”

The Foreign Affairs secretary noted that there are only 24 Filipinos remaining in Kabul as of August 30, eight of them requesting repatriation while 16 others opted to stay.

As of Monday, a total of 187 Filipinos have been evacuated from Afghanista since the Taliban seized the nation’s capital.

182 Filipinos left Afghanistan amid tension — DFA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Seven more Filipinos have departed Kabul, Afghanistan which makes a total of 182 Filipinos who evacuated the conflict-stricken country, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Based on the situation bulletin on August 23, the DFA confirmed that five out of the seven left the capital on Sunday (August 22), while the two left last week but have only recently confirmed their whereabouts.

The DFA is in contact with 27 more Filipinos, however, 10 of them have expressed intent to remain in Afghanistan while the rest requested evacuation.

“All repatriates that have managed to exit Afghanistan have been assisted by various Philippine Embassies and Consulates General,” the department said.

Some of them, however, are not returning to the Philippines for various reasons, the DFA said.

The department said it is also coordinating with various governments “so that repatriates in transit need not fully quarantine in the transit country, as they will be undergoing quarantine upon arrival in the Philippines.” AAC

Second batch of overseas Filipinos safely extracted from Afghanistan — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   August 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has confirmed that another batch of 16 overseas Filipinos from Afghanistan is now safe and being assisted in the United Kingdom.

According to the DFA, from the first batch of Filipinos who left Afghanistan, a total of 13 Filipinos who first arrived in the UK are now in their respective connecting flights in Oslo, Norway; one in Almaty, Kazakhstan; and another one in Kuwait.

Meanwhile, at least 32 Filipinos remain in Afghanistan and 22 of them are requesting repatriation.

The DFA thanks all countries that continue to assist in repatriating Filipino citizens in Afghanistan.

As of August 22, a total of 175 Filipinos have already been extracted from the conflict-stricken country.

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