Where will Afghan refugees go?

The Taliban control all the main land crossing points with Afghanistan’s neighbours, and the militants have said they do not want Afghans to leave.

But some refugees have managed to find a way out, while thousands of Afghans are also gathered at the country’s only functioning airport in Kabul in the hope of boarding a flight out.

Even before the Taliban retook control, more than 550,000 people had been forced to flee their homes this year due to fighting, according to the UNHCR.

That means an estimated 3.5 million Afghans are currently internally displaced within the country.

Neighbouring countries Pakistan and Iran saw the highest numbers of Afghan refugees and asylum seekers last year.

Almost 1.5 million fled to Pakistan in 2020, while Iran hosted 780,000, according to UNHCR figures.

Afghan with suspected Taliban links evacuated to France

Five Afghans who were evacuated from Kabul to France have been placed under surveillance over suspected links to the Taliban, the French interior minister has said.

Gerald Darmanin told Franceinfo radio that among the thousand or so Afghans evacuated to France, “one was supposedly – and I do say supposedly – linked with the Taliban”.

“But he helped a lot, the French army, French citizens, journalists,” Darmanin added. “We put him and his friends under surveillance on their arrival in France to clear up any doubt.”

He said that one of the five left the place they’d been asked to stay in: “He was taken into custody yesterday, which shows the security services are closely monitoring those individuals.”

AFP news agency reports that a French ministerial document says the man admitted his membership of the Taliban and said he’d worked as the armed head of a Taliban checkpoint in Kabul.

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