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Afghans head home from UAE after US fails to take them in

KHOST, AFGHANISTAN - DECEMBER 9: People wait as UNHCR distrubutes cash assistance to 8,027 families of Waziristan refugees in the Gulan camp in Khost province, with each family receiving 345 US dollars. Officials say the aid began as winter approached in Khost Afghanistan on December 9, 2021. ( Sardar Shafaq - Anadolu Agency )
People wait as UNHCR distrubutes cash assistance to 8,027 families of Waziristan refugees in the Gulan camp in Khost province, with each family receiving 345 US dollars. Officials say the aid began as winter approached in Khost Afghanistan on December 9, 2021 [Sardar Shafaq - Anadolu Agency]

Scores of Afghans who escaped their country when the Taliban took over and were left in the UAE while their documents to travel to the US were processed have volunteered to return to Afghanistan, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

The evacuees say their return could put them in danger but they have to support their families.

One evacuee told the newspaper that his family had run out of money while waiting for him to be relocated as the US promised he would be. Instead, nearly seven months on he is still living in an Afghan camp.  He said he has been asked to sign a paper to say his life would not be at risk if he were to return to Afghanistan, but said he feared the Taliban may seek revenge as he worked for the US to help organise evacuations at Kabul airport.

The newspaper said the US State Department refused to reveal the number of Afghans who volunteered to be repatriated.

Protests broke out last February over the conditions in the Afghan camp in the UAE, which the refugees likened to imprisonment due to restrictions on movement and a lack of information about their situation. There are nearly 10,000 Afghan living on the site, which was set up to temporarily house them.

READ: Afghanistan, Qatar, US hold trilateral meeting in Turkiye's Antalya

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