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Home Office Relocates Afghan Refugees 200 Miles From London

By Flavia De Michetti Rome, 3 February 2023 ( – It has been more than a year since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan and hundreds of refugees have settled in the United Kingdom after fleeing their country.

The reception received to date in Kensington hotels would appear to have ended, so much so that around 40 families have been invited to move 200 miles away, in West Yorkshire, in the space of a week.

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, after being harshly criticized for how he handled the evacuation from Afghanistan, promised refuge to thousands of Afghans who arrived in the UK.

British Government Had Developed an Operation

In fact, the British Government had developed an operation called “Warm Welcome”, promising Afghan citizens, who worked for the United Kingdom in their country of origin and were evacuated, an indefinite residence permit, which would have allowed them to work, apply for British citizenship, receive free healthcare, adequate training in the English language and even university scholarships.

“We owe a huge debt to those who worked with the Armed Forces in Afghanistan and I am determined to give them and their families the support they need to rebuild their lives here in the UK,” Johnson said. “.

The government project, launched in August 2021, therefore promised to help Afghans integrate fully into British life after the United Kingdom, like the United States, had ceded Kabul to the Taliban.

Today, the reactions of Afghan refugees have not been slow to make themselves felt. In fact, some of these have declared that they will refuse to leave, especially for their own children who, already deeply traumatized by the war and the radical changes caused by displacement, would suffer once again. Furthermore, after more than a year, many have found work in London and are afraid of not finding it again.

According to the latest news, although the Government intends to move all Afghan families out of hotels by the end of this year to more stable and safe homes, many are the accusations launched against the broken promises made by Boris Johnson, who claimed to support Afghans who cooperated alongside Britain in their country’s fighting.

According to some figures, today, around 9,000 Afghans are still living in makeshift shelters in the UK after being evacuated from Kabul, as part of Operation Pitting, which began on 13 August 2021, assisting those who could be relocated to the UK as part of the Afghan relocation and assistance policy from the country.

British Prime Minister Johnson at the time said: “Operation Pitting will be regarded as one of the great achievements of our British armed services and their civilian counterparts in the post-war era. The whole country can be immensely proud of their tireless work to bring men, women and children to safety. They represent the best of us.”

Hamidullah Khan, a former parliamentary adviser from Kabul who evacuated to the UK with his wife and three children, said the government had broken a number of promises to help them find housing, explaining: “We have asked the Home Office, ‘Why do you want to send us away?’ and they say “This hotel is expensive. The hotel in Leeds costs less”. But we didn’t choose this hotel or this area to live in, it was the Home Office who awarded it,” and added, “We have now been here for 18 months. Our children go to local schools and in the middle of the school year they ask us to leave ”.

Khan then launched an appeal to the Home Office: “Please don’t send us to a hotel in Leeds where our children will lose their education. They may have to drop out of the school year because they have no places for them”.

Another refugee, a former Afghan army general who arrived in Britain with six children, said most of the hotel’s residents protest against this scheme and refuse to leave the hotel. “Two children who used to live in this hotel are in hospital and their parents are being asked to move. Some people have jobs now. We can’t just give up responsibilities and start over,” he explained.

This article is originally published on

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