The South African government says it does not have the ability to accept Afghanistan refugees as its social welfare system is already overburdened.
International relations and co-operation department spokesperson Clayson Monyela said on Wednesday that the department noted the overtures made to the country to consider receiving a number of Afghanistan refugees who had sought refuge in Pakistan.
Thousands of people want to flee Afghanistan after the terror group Taliban took control of the country after the withdrawal of U.S. forces.
U.S. President Joe Biden has paid tribute to the U.S. troops killed in suicide attacks in Kabul. Thirteen American troops died and fifteen others were injured in the blasts that claimed more than 100 lives.
“The request is that they be accommodated in SA en route to their final destinations. The South African government is unfortunately not in a position to accommodate such a request.
Monyela said “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,”
He added that in terms of international law, the wellbeing of the refugees is best served by remaining in the first country of arrival in this case Pakistan pending their final destinations.
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