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Germany displaces Afghan refugees to make room for Ukrainians

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

Before Russia’s re-invasion of #Ukraine, #Germany was Europe’s largest host country for #refugees, with over 1.24M people living there. But, today #Afghans are being displaced to make room for Ukrainian refugees. The German government generally grants asylum seekers temporary residence which is re-evaluated every 6 months. The extension is dependent on the situation in their home countries. Since the #Taliban took over #Afghanistan last August, most Afghans evacuated skipped this process totally and immediately received 3 year residency permits. Tareq Alaows, a board member of the #Berlin Refugee Council, said that many people had lived in their homes for years. This move ripped them out of their social structures. The government justified the removals saying that Afghans were evicted from supposed “arrival centers” wherein they should only be staying there short-term. But some families had been living there for years. A feature in the ‘Foreign Policy’ reported the case of Ayesha*, a 33-year-old social activist and refugee from Afghanistan. She reached Berlin in late January, fleeing the Taliban with the help of the German government after receiving threats for 2 consecutive years. She says, “My former boss was killed in #Kabul, and after receiving personal threats, I always feared for my life. My daughter keeps asking if the Taliban will come here. I can finally tell her ‘no.’ This is the first time I feel safe, and I’m grateful because Germany is building a future for my daughters.” However, she now expresses her uncertainty concerning where she would be sent next. Her family’s first residence was a small, fully stocked container apartment. They could stay in it until they could find their own apartment. The new one is more expensive, and they have to move out by July. Ayesha* is one of the many of Afghans across Germany clearing out their home for newly arriving refugees from Ukraine. She expressed a sentiment we strongly align with “When images first emerged from Ukraine, I cried for its people. I know war and its horrors. I still cry for them. I just ask that we’re all treated the same. A refugee is a refugee."

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