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‘Wales must be prepared to do its bit’: Calls for Welsh communities to welcome Afghan refugees

17 Aug 2021 3 minutes Read
An Afghan Air Force member directs a C-27 Spartan on the flight line at the Afghan Air Force Base on the Kabul International Airport. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jared Walker (CC BY 2.0).

There have been calls for Wales to welcome Afghan refugees, after large parts of the country fell to the Taliban as the US and NATO withdraw their troops.

Wales’ First Minister earlier said that as a Nation of Sanctuary, Wales would “do everything we can to support evacuations from Afghanistan” and that he was working with the Home Office and councils to offer support to those fleeing the country.

Welsh councils have offered homes for at least 21 families after Welsh Local Government Association leader Andrew Morgan said they would “play their part”.

“If we all sign up to this, we’re talking less than a handful of families actually per local authority area, so the numbers are actually very, very small,” he said.

“I wouldn’t want it on my conscience that we see in a month’s time that a number of individuals and families are being killed in Afghanistan when we had the opportunity to help them come here.”

‘Quickly’

Jane Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and a previous leader of the children’s section of the Refugee Council, called on the Welsh Government to ensure it is prepared to play its part in welcoming fleeing Afghan refugees.

“While the power is ultimately reserved to Westminster, Wales must be prepared to do its bit and provide assistance to Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban,” she said.

“Wales has a proud history of helping those in need and we should not shy away from it now. We must fulfil our moral duty and embrace those who are seeking safety and sanctuary in the UK, particularly children and their families.”

Welsh Labour MP Stephen Kinnock said the UK has a “moral duty” to protect those who assisted US and NATO forces during their time in Afghanistan.

“Those people really are at risk now and we’ve got to be able to do the right thing for them,” he told Good Morning Britain.

“That may well involve having conversations with the Taliban to ensure that those people are given safe passage. I think we have to be pragmatic about that.”

Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts said yesterday that the UK Government has a “practical and moral responsibility” to ensure British citizens and personnel, as well as Afghan nationals linked to the British/NATO mission in Afghanistan, are evacuated swiftly and safely.

“This must be done as quickly as possible and, if necessary, allow for the processing of visas and other documentation later once they are safe,” she said. “A quick and safe evacuation must be the priority above all else.”

The UK has so far sent approximately 900 troops to Afghanistan to help evacuate Afghans who helped NATO forces during the war, and British nationals.

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

I hope that Gwynedd makes them as welcome as possible given the housing problems that the local population already face…

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

Wales ALWAYS does its share. I await with baited breath to hear how many refugees are housed in Kingston on Thames.

Last edited 1 month ago by Quornby
David Russell
David Russell
1 month ago

Let the politicians house them first and all the do gooders will follow. Lead by example.
It’s not as if we already have a major housing problem is it?

Emmie
Emmie
1 month ago



Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

It’s the least we can do…

Cath
Cath
1 month ago

How can we achieve the morally correct action of giving shelter to Afghan refugees (running from a problem the Westminster governments created and exacerbated) when we do not have the social infrastructure to attend to the basic needs of all the people in Cymru at this time right now as I type this? I am no xenophobe, I hold no truck with racists or bigots, but we are not exactly doing well as it is and we are about to start seeing the effect of losing the EU funding we had that will not be replaced by the Westminster government.… Read more »

Dafydd ap Robart
Dafydd ap Robart
1 month ago
Reply to  Cath

Iesu grist.
Gwrandewch arnoch chi’ch hun. Rwy’n cefnogi annibyniaeth, ond ni fyddwn eisiau byw yn eich Cymru.

Emmie
Emmie
1 month ago
Reply to  Cath

We are a nation that will not let others in need be turned away. In all conscience, we cannot let people in fear of their very lives die because we turned our back.

defaid
defaid
1 month ago
Reply to  Cath

Don’t lose sight of the real criterion for offering sanctuary.

We are richer, safer, more comfortable, more secure, better educated, healthier, have vastly more liberty…

We are better off than them.

Cath
Cath
1 month ago
Reply to  defaid

For now, we have a measure of some of those things, but we are going to lose an awful lot of that in the next few years. We are COMPARITIVELY richer etc etc. for now. We are facing a funding hole in Cymru, we are seeing the NHS being underfunded and being sold off via the back door, new powers that the Westminster government has already given itself have vastly curtailed our freedoms and that freedom is going to get reduced even further with the incoming Policing Bill… The bottom line is that these refugees are going to be used… Read more »

Shan Morgain
1 month ago
Reply to  Cath

Agreed we have difficulties post-Brexit, and Cocid, and Westminster. But we are free to walk our streets, we do not face torture and murder as happened under the Taliban before. The scale of difficulty is different.

G Horton-Jones
G Horton-Jones
1 month ago

Why cannot Wales be the first Country to recognise the new Afghanistan and open an embassy there .
Would Mr Drakeford please step up to the plate

Dim problem
Dim problem
1 month ago
Reply to  G Horton-Jones

Why on Earth would Wales want to endorse the Taliban like that?

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  G Horton-Jones

Not until we have a no nonsense Indy party with big following. Good to have posts from people with ideas!

Mathew Rees
Mathew Rees
1 month ago

There are now mosques in Carmarthen (Carmarthen!) And even near Harlech. As a gay man I do not want people following a backwards religion who put my life and rights in danger in Wales. Look at the 3 men stabbed to death in Reading last year by an Islamist and the attack on the gay couple in Birmingham’s GAY VILLAGE last week by Arab men. I lived in the Netherlands in 2019 and it is not advised to show that you are gay in public because of frequent attacks by Moroccan and Turkish gangs. But you’re not allowed to talk… Read more »

Mathew Rees
Mathew Rees
1 month ago
Reply to  Mathew Rees

The left in Wales and more generally must choose between LGBT or Islam. You cannot have both.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Mathew Rees

Yes, we on the Right must also note if one person feels threatened, we all are.

Cath
Cath
1 month ago
Reply to  j humphrys

The Taliban are the right-wing! The Right-Wing in the UK wants what the Taliban wants, don’t you dare try and make out that anyone on the right gives a single care about LGBTQ people….The Right in the UK have done nought but beat down and throw slurs at gay people…ffs

Cath
Cath
1 month ago
Reply to  Mathew Rees

Anyone who is “Hard Left” would be against bringing in people who are religiously deluded to be used as an under-class, it is Liberals and centrists that want this because it of their guilt and the need to replace some of the migrant workers we have lost thanks to Brexit……Tbh, I have found that there isn’t much space for LGBTQ in leftist politics in Cymru, I was harangued by a lady claiming to be a member of Yes Cymru, she had seen my membership card in my purse’s little window bit and had a hissy fit, telling me that “your… Read more »

Lucas
Lucas
1 month ago

I really hope Swansea makes a big effort, to house and help the Afghan refugees. I would be pleased to help in whatever way I can.

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