By Nathaniel Nartey
The government of South Africa has declined requests to host Afghan refugees who fled the country after the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, 2021.
A statement from the South African Department of Foreign Affairs said it is unable to meet such a request because the country is already hosting a substantial number of refugees and is responsible for meeting their needs.
This is after UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutierrez made a call for countries to accept Afghan refugees on humanitarian grounds. Reacting to this, International Relations Expert Dr Rashid Pelpuo said reasons given by South Africa for the refusal are justified.
He told Nathaniel Nartey that South Africa’s actions should not be a bother to the UN unless it influences other nations to take same stance of Afghan Refugees.
”Yes the reasons given by South Africa are justifiable. But essentially when you look at the international laws, when people are fleeing to other countries for humanitarian reasons it is incumbent upon countries to receive and help them. So I think South Africa may have good reasons if they feel the Afghan Refugees will rather create more problems for them,” he stated.
Dr. Rashid Pelpuo gave his assessment of whether Ghana is ready to host refugees from Afghanistan should they make the request.
”In Ghana, if can receive any such refugees, would come about from an executive decision. Ghana can do that, I do not think we are too handicapped to do that.”
Asked about how he expects Ghanaians to react if Afghan Refugees should make the request to Ghana, Dr Pelpuo said
”Ghanaians would definitely not be happy with it, if you accept refugees from Afghanistan we know what it symbolizes which is radicalism, the predominance of the Taliban behavior which has the capacity to throw a country into disarray so having this in mind, people will definitely be afraid,” International Relations Expert Dr Rashid Pelpuo stated.
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