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Afghan asylum seekers protest in UAE over uncertain future


Kabul: Afghan refugees who were transferred to the UAE a year ago during the evacuation of Kabul and with the promise of transfer to America, held new protests due to the slow and non-transparent resettlement process.

Hundreds of Afghans, who are waiting for resettlement in the United States or third countries, held demonstrations on Monday and Tuesday holding banners to protest their plight.

Children, women and men protested inside the facility in Abu Dhabi, known as the UAE’s humanitarian city, in extreme temperatures, Reuters reported in pictures and videos. Among the demonstrators, a little boy was holding a banner that read “One year of misery is enough”.

An Emirati official acknowledged in a written statement to Reuters that there is frustration with the resettlement process and that it has taken longer than the UAE expected.

Protests first erupted in February after a halt to resettlement at the center prompted a visit by a senior US State Department official, who promised that all Afghans would be resettled by August.

US officials say none of the Afghan evacuees will be forced to return to Afghanistan, but some asylum seekers have voluntarily returned to Afghanistan after months of waiting.

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