Afghanistan citizen discusses attempt to seek asylum in France
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An Afghanistan man revealed the chaos in the country as airports are blocked with large crowds of people desperate to flee with Taliban checkpoints searching cars and people to see what they are getting up to. He added he has been attempting to gain asylum in France for several months, before the Taliban began their advance on Kabul, and has only received messages to say he and his family are “under review”. The refugee slammed French authorities as he said he “has the right” to live in France after his family spent decades working for the French embassy with his father alone dedicating 48 years to the job.
Speaking to France 24 who chose to hide his identity for his safety, the displaced Afghan said he had been waiting months for his application to be looked at.
He explained: “I’ve been applying for my asylum [since April 2021].
“And since then, I only have received the replies both from the official French embassy here in Kabul.
“And then from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but in my case and my family’s case it is under review.
“They are reviewing that and gave us information but I don’t know [when approval will come] because it’s almost been more than four months.
“I’m just waiting to hear from them, because not only me, my whole family, my father, my brother, everyone, have worked for the French embassy in Kabul for a long time.”
The Afghan then revealed his brother died while working for the French embassy as a car he was driving was hit by a rocket.
His brother was delivering goods between different embassies in the capital.
He concluded: “Therefore, we have the right to ask for asylum in France.
“But unfortunately, I’m trying to get in touch with every member of the French embassy…
“The only reply that I’m getting today is they are not saying no but we know your case is under review we will get back to you very soon – And that will never come.”
The Afghan man then provided an account of what things were like on the ground.
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He told the broadcaster: “The Taliban have checkpoints and they are questioning you, where are going but when they are not stopping you.
“But they have the checkpoints and they stop and check the vehicles and everything.
“But the problem is that more than 10,000 [civilians] have surrounded the airport and every day are waiting that they should somehow get inside the airport and get a chance to get in the plane and fly the country.
“Therefore it is a really really bad situation that you cannot reach the gate of the airport.
“So if you want to reach the gate of the airport, it takes a long, long time.
“Even if people are spending days and nights there, the other night I went at two o’clock in the morning and I saw that the people were there and no one was able to go near to the gate.
“Therefore some of the security people had to shoot in the air that the people should disappear and some other people can [get to the gate].”
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Shortly after the Taliban moved in and took over Kabul, French President Emmanuel Macron held a press conference where he said France “must protect itself from a wave of migrants”.
Mr Macron said France had a duty to protect those who have worked with the country throughout the troubles in Afghanistan but did not extend a strong welcome to those fleeing Afghanistan.
He said in the speech: “For several years, we have carried out operations to welcome in France Afghan civilian personnel who have worked for the French army, as well as their families.
“It is our duty and our dignity to protect those who help us: interpreters, drivers, cooks and many others.
“Nearly 800 people are already on French soil, several dozen people are still on site who have helped the French army and for whom we remain fully mobilised.”
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowdon accused Mr Macron of covering his back for the looming September French elections as right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen is gaining traction.
The neighbouring country has already come under fire from the UK after record numbers of channel crossings were not prevented by French authorities.
The UK revealed it would take 20,000 Afghan refugees over the course of several years.
EU internal ministers have said they wish to resettle Afghans nearer the Middle East and did not want thousands arriving at the bloc’s external border.
In 2015, over a million Syrian refugees fled to Europe following the conflict in the country.
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