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Home >> World
UPDATED: 07:51, November 24, 2005
UNHCR calls for voluntarily repatriation of Afghan refugees
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The High Commissioner of UN Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) on Wednesday stressed for voluntarily repatriation of Afghan refugees to their homeland.

"I would like to convey to you our deep commitment to Afghan refugees, to protect them and support the Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran voluntarily return in condition of full dignity to Afghanistan," Antonio Guterres told newsmen at a press conference after meeting Afghan officials.

He made these remarks amid complaints by some returnees that the host countries had forced them to return while a large number of returnees have been living in misery.

Huge portion of over 3.5 million Afghans, who have returned home from Pakistan and Iran since the collapse of Taliban regime in late 2001, have no proper shelters and adequate income to run their daily life honorably.

Counting employment and education as the main concerns of refugees for their return, the UN chief of refugees called on the Afghan government to create condition for their voluntarily repatriation.

"Their major concern is related to the question of employment, education, health care and other relevant fields in their lives," he emphasized.

He said that the Afghan government should create conducive condition for the return of refugees to their post-war nation.

"Our main message was that it's very important in the so-called Kabul agenda on the development strategy of Afghanistan presented in the London conference, a measure pillar should be the creation of condition for full integration of returnees in the development process of Afghanistan," noted the UN top diplomat on refugees.

Contrary to expectations, over three million Afghan refugees with majority of them in the neighboring countries of Pakistan and Iran are still living abroad.

The UN high commissioner for refugees will also tour Pakistan and Iran to discuss the issue of Afghan refugees with their leaders.

Source: Xinhua

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