Afghan exodus grows as Taliban gain ground and hope for future diminishes
Bundesinnenminister Thomas de Maizière (CDU) warnt vor einer Schleuserorganisation, die Afghanen nach Deutschland bringt. Bei seinen Analysen der Vorgänge auf den Fluchtrouten habe der deutsche Auslandsgeheimdienst in Afghanistan „eine hochprofessionelle Schleuserstruktur ausgemacht, deren Netzwerk über die Türkei bis nach Griechenland, Italien und Frankreich reicht“. Die Behörden glauben, dass zahlreiche Flüchtlinge von kriminellen Gruppen nach Deutschland gebracht werden. Bei den Verdächtigen soll es sich unter anderem gerüchtweise um libanesische Großfamilien handeln. Aus Afghanistan berichtet der Guardian.
After midnight, the sprawling outskirts of Kabul are enveloped in darkness, but the Ahmad Shah Baba bus station lights up like a small town in the night.
In the cheap neon light from a cluster of hotels, rows of dilapidated buses wait, engines running, for their 2am departure. At a recent visit, inside the buses, the mood was solemn. All passengers were men. Many were teenagers, none looked older than 35. Few were willing to share details about their upcoming trip, though it was obvious.
Their destination was Nimruz, Afghanistan’s southern desert province bordering Iran and Pakistan. Every night, about 60 buses leave Kabul for Nimruz, according to ticket sellers at the terminal. For the poorest of the many Afghans leaving their country, this is where the journey to Europe begins.
And for many, “Europe” has become synonymous with one country – Germany. Although that destination may now be harder to reach after the German government announced that it was tightening up its refugee policy.
“I’m going to Germany. There are no jobs here, and security gets worse day by day,” said Rafi, 30. He had been unemployed for seven years, since his international employer in Kabul closed its business. He decided to leave when the Taliban captured Kunduz in the north.
“The Taliban went looking for families who cooperated with the government or international organisations. They killed their sons and kidnapped their daughters,” he said. Rafi hoped to obtain residency in Germany and eventually bring his wife and daughter there.
Germany was also the destination for Farid, 25, about to make his second attempt at crossing into Iran via Nimruz. Two months ago, Iranian police arrested him in Khoy, close to the Turkish border. They held him for eight days and beating him, before deporting him, he said. Because Farid had worked for an organisation funded by the World Bank in Kapisa province.
Afghans make up 16% of asylum seekers currently arriving in Turkey and Europe, surpassed only by Syrians.
According to the UN, 122,080 Afghans applied for asylum in 44 countries between January and August, more than twice the number last year. The vast majority are young men.
Trips from Afghanistan to Europe are priced according to the danger involved. According to people smugglers who spoke to the Guardian, an overland journey via Nimruz costs $6-7,000. Flying to Tehran and continuing overland is $9,000. A flight all the way to Istanbul adds another $2,000 to the price.
One people smuggler, Khan, said every night, 300 to 400 people cross the border from Nimruz to Iran, the most dangerous part of the journey because of often ruthless Iranian police.
40 percent of Afghans would like to emigrate
Migration. Starting in 2011, the survey has asked respondents if they would leave Afghanistan if given the opportunity. This year (2015), 39.9% of Afghans say yes, an increase from 33.8% in 2011, while 57.9% say no. Afghans most likely to say yes live in the Central/Kabul (47.4%) and West (44.2%) regions; those least likely live in the South West (26.2%).