UN concerned over deportation of Afghans from Iran – spokesman

UN concerned over deportation of Afghans from Iran – spokesman

Reporting that some 44,000 people have been returned to Afghanistan from Iran as illegal immigrants since 21 April, the United Nations Assistance Mission in the country (UNAMA) today called on the Governments of the two countries concerned to make sure that humanitarian considerations are taken into account.

“It’s very important in any return of large numbers of people that it is orderly, gradual, and humane,” UNAMA spokesman Adrian Edwards said today in Kabul.

He said that the mission, along with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), are doing what they can to ensure the well-being of those who are coming across the border.

“So far the situation is manageable,” he said, adding that an assessment team and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission have been closely monitoring the situation over the past two days.

“From reports we have, it appears that some people have been separated from members of their families,” he said. “There are cases where people may not have sufficient water or transportation to get home. These are the issues we are trying to help with.”

Mr. Edwards also said that UN agencies have been working with local authorities to provide food and other assistance to some 900 families displaced by recent fighting in Herat province, and that 900 tons of food assistance, held up by heavy snows, is now being transported by WFP to Ghor province.