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Refugees -- Afghanistan


Afghan refugees are beginning to return to Afghanistan. These returning refugees are creating new problems for Afghanistan as many are landless and therefore crowd the major cities, especially Kabul. Efforts to identify land for the returnees has floundered because of corruption and red tape. In addition, single Afghan men are being forcefully expelled from Iran and Europe creating new tensions. Refugees began fleeing Afghanistan in the 1980s as a result of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1979 and the war of resistance that followed. After the Soviet withdrawal in in 1989 some refugees began to return, but the Soviet occupation was soon followed by a major civil war in 1992 when the mujahideen took control of Kabul and more refugees fled. This was followed by rule of the Taliban from 1996 to 2001. Although some refugees had begun to return during this period, the war waged against the Taliban government by the Northern Alliance and other groups forced more Afghans to flee.

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