The United States plans to send Afghans who have not passed the first phase of control in Kosovo, where authorities have agreed to shelter refugees for up to a year, during additional security checks, an official said on Saturday. American for the Associated Press news agency.
The plan is likely to be opposed by refugee rights activists, who have complained that the process is not being conducted in a transparent manner and that there are uncertainties of legal powers at transit facilities and transit points where some 120,000 Afghans, Americans and others evacuated from Afghanistan.
The U.S. official made the comments on condition of anonymity. These are the first comments that shed light on the US administration’s approach to Afghans and other evacuees who have not gone through the security check process and need more time to analyze their past.
Other countries have been reluctant to evacuate, which could pose a security problem.
Meanwhile, the number of Afghans being approved for transfer from transit centers, who have been hastily set up in Qatar, Germany and Italy, as well as smaller document processing points in other countries, is increasing. These evacuees are then sent to Philadelphia or Washington, but settled in the United States.
Other US officials have said they anticipate that most or all of the Afghan evacuees for whom the process has stalled and require further analysis will pass the security check.
The official, speaking to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the transit centers “provide safe haven for a variety of groups as documents are analyzed before they are allowed to continue their journey to the United States or another country.”
The United States will use the Bondsteel military base near Pristina to conduct additional security checks and to analyze and process the documentation needed to house the evacuees in the United States, the US official said.
Both Germany and Italy have given a maximum of two weeks to control and approve the evacuation of evacuees from their countries.
Kosovo leaders have agreed to allow those evacuated from Afghanistan to stay for up to a year, with the possibility of further extending this deadline.
Refugee organizations said the US has not been transparent or efficient in managing the movement of refugees to transit centers.
“There is a great lack of transparency from the administration about what is happening – who is in these centers, who can be talked to when they have problems,” said Adam Bates, a lawyer with the International Refugee Project. , one of the leading American organizations working with Afghan refugees who fled to escape the Taliban.
He made the comments before the US administration official spoke about the role that Kosovo will play in the relocation of Afghan refugees./VOA