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German Regions Refuse To Deport Afghan Migrants

Despite the German federal government’s plan to deport thousands of failed Afghan asylum seekers, German regions are not cooperating and claim Afghanistan has become far too dangerous.

The Federal government has faced problems with its programme to deport failed Afghan asylum seekers since its inception. The first wave of deportations at Frankfurt airport was heavily protested by pro-migrant activists. Now, German regions have decided to halt all Afghan deportations claiming that a new UN report shows the country to be far too dangerous, Der Spiegel reports.

Schleswig-Holstein, Berlin, Bremen, Lower Saxony, and Rhineland-Palatinate have all said they will not deport any Afghans. The Ministry of the Interior in Hanover has said they will be refusing repatriation because of the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and a spokesman said: “The latest report from the UN refugee agency encourages the ministry in this attitude”.

The UN report claims that in 2016 over 11,000 people were killed or injured in ongoing violence. A third of that total, according to the report, were children. This represents a three per cent rise from the previous year and the agency says that most of the violence is committed by radical Islamists like the Taliban and Islamic State fighters.

The left-wing regional governments in Germany announced last year that they would be against forced deportation programmes and the Berlin government has refused to deport any Afghan nationals since December.

It is estimated that there are tens of thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants ineligible for asylum status in the country. However, the number of deportations, voluntary or forced, has been low with most migrants who voluntarily leave being primarily from the western Balkan states.

North African migrants have been the most difficult to deport. Although there is some argument between the governments as to whether or not Afghanistan or Iraq can be classified as safe countries, the general consensus is that North African countries, except for Libya, are generally safe.

Though the federal government views the North African countries as safe, they have only been able to deport a few hundred of the thousands of migrants who are scheduled for deportation. The reasons for the failure have been many, including the fact that many migrants have no identification papers and that some countries in North Africa simply refuse to take their nationals back.

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