JANE Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats has called on the Welsh Government to ensure it is prepared to play its part in welcoming fleeing Afghan refugees over the coming months.
Dodds, who has previously led the children’s section of the Refugee Council, made her comments as the Taliban have gained control of most of Afghanistan in the last two weeks, with Kabul also falling under nominal control of the terrorist group. The rapid advance of the Taliban has been blamed on the withdrawal of US, UK and NATO troops from the country on September 11.
Commenting Dodds said “We are witnessing a humanitarian disaster unfold in real-time in Afghanistan. The return to Taliban rule across Afghanistan will mean a return to appalling human rights standards, especially for women and minority groups. The thought of so many people losing their liberties like this is absolutely devastating.
“The UK must stick to its commitment to evacuate and provide sanctuary to those who have provided assistance to western forces over the past 20-years, but it should not stop there. Millions will be fearing for their lives, including those who have made efforts to build democracy in the country, not least woman’s rights activists, teachers, charity workers and civil servants.
“While the power is ultimately reserved to Westminster, Wales must be prepared to do its bit and provide assistance to Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban. We must make good on our promise to be a nation of sanctuary. Wales has a proud history of helping those in need and we should not shy away from it now. We must fulfil our moral duty and embrace those who are seeking safety and sanctuary in the UK, particularly children and their families.
“In Canada, Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the country will be taking in 20,000 refugees, something the UK and other like-minded nations should seek to be emulating.”
UK Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey had been one of the leading politicians behind calls for a recall of Parliament to discuss the unfolding crisis, that will now take place on Wednesday.
On Sunday he stated “We must not conclude that this rapid collapse was inevitable. It was not. We must never forget the scenes playing out before our eyes are a direct result of the decisions taken by President Biden, the UK Government and other coalition forces. Today, our leaders should all hang their heads in shame.”