UN urges Afghanistan’s neighbours to keep borders open

The United States has evacuated about 3,000 more people from Afghanistan’s Kabul airport, according to a White House official, bringing the US evacuations tally to about 9,000 since August 14.

Shabia Mantoo, spokesperson of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has welcomed the evacuation of Afghan nationals through such separate bilateral programmes, but stressed that they should not substitute for an “urgent and wider international humanitarian response”.

“The vast majority of Afghans are not able to leave the country through regular channels,” she told a Geneva news briefing. “As of today, those who may be in danger have no clear way out.”

She reiterated the call to neighbouring countries to keep their borders open to allow people to seek asylum in light of what she called the “evolving crisis”.

A United Nations threat assessment report says Taliban fighters are conducting “targeted door-to-door visits” of people who worked with the US and NATO forces, increasing the fear of revenge.

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