Malta will be offering protection and a home to one family fleeing Afghanistan after a fundamentalist religious group took control of their country.
The family of three will be brought to Malta and provided with a new life after fleeing the Taliban insurgency, which saw the group easily take over the country after American military forces pulled out entirely just days ago.
“I believe the European Union needs to ensure that the humanitarian crisis that happened in 2015 does not happen again,” Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri said, referring to a series of conflicts, including in Syria and Iraq, that had led to a flood of refugees seeking safety in Europe.
“With that said, it’s essential that we learn from past mistakes and the necessary decisions that need to be taken are taken.”
Camilleri went on to say that Malta had already done a lot for years in the face of the ongoing refugee crisis stemming from the Middle East and Africa.
In 2019 and 2020, 5,687 people attempting to cross into Europe by sea were rescued by the Armed Forces of Malta and brought to the island. However, 2,244 people are estimated to have died attempting to cross to Europe during that same period, with a total of 22,047 believed to have perished since 2014.
The world had watched in horror as the Taliban left their mountain bases and easily took over Afghanistan as US forces finally pulled out after over a decade occupying the country.
Since then, reports of desperate Afghanis doing anything they could to escape the land – including holding on to US military craft as it left the country before falling to their deaths – have made the international press.
Just this week, the EU’s Foreign Affairs chief Joseph Borrell said that it may now be time for the EU to have its own force to react quickly in light of any similar future crises. Such a force would feature anywhere between 5,000 and 20,000 soldiers.
This would also lead to an end of a global habit of relying on American soldiers.
Should Malta do more to help the Afghani people?