Afghan refugees gathering for citizenship in Belgium

KABUL: (MEP) – Many of Afghan refugees and their Belgian supporters rallied against what they said a hosting country‘s government plan to return them home.

They had spent three to seven years to request for the residency or work permit in Belgium, where they marched about 70 km to reach Moniz—the main town, where the prime minister resides.

The rally took two days, starting at about 8am (local time) in Brussels, with the protesters spending a night along the way to reach Moniz, where the prime minister is the mayor as well, Lailuma Sadid told.

Though, the authorities in Moniz provided them with proper roosting place, but they declined to accept, spending the night under heavy rain and breeze wind, warning not to leave the city unless meet with the prime minister.

They were chanting, “We want citizenship and don’t want to be forcedly returned to Afghanistan.”

Nikola Marten, one of the Muniz municipality authorities said the Afghan refugees cases would soon be investigated, according to Lailuma Sadid, Wakht correspondent in Belgium.

Negotiations started between the two sides’ representatives next day, Sadid who is assessing the event from nearer said.

A team included Afghan refugees’ representative, their supporting labor party members and Belgium minister of refugees would meet with the prime minster in Brussels and discuss the protestors’ files.

According to him, the protestors would leave the city, as they realize that meeting the prime minister in Moniz was impossible.

In a telephone conversation with Mrs. Sadid, an Afghan refugee protester, Samir Hamrah said they couldn’t return the country due to overspreading insecurity and fears of being killed in Afghanistan.

The authorities announced state of emergency when the protests started on Sunday, with the police and ambulances on alert to distribute foods and blankets among the protestors, as well as the Archbishop, Andre Joseph Leonard allowing them spend night in the church.

Oskar Flours, a Belgian protester was quoted by Miss Sadid as saying, “We have two government authorities with different decision about the Afghan refugees—the ministry of foreign affairs willing them get citizenship, while the ministry of refugees willing to send them buck to Afghanistan.”

He criticized the refugees’ ministry decision to send the Afghanistan back to their country, where had fed up with insecurity and warfare.

Another hosting country’s citizen blamed the authorities for planning to force the Afghan refugees to return to their country. “The Afghans had suffered much to reach to the European countries, and resending them to Afghanistan means forcing them to death.”

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