‘We Will Never Go Back to 2015’: Sweden Doesn’t Believe in New Refugee Wave Despite Afghan Crisis

Europe

In 2015, Sweden, a nation of over 10 million, saw a record 163,000 asylum seekers, mostly from the Middle East and Northern Africa, which has since posed serious integration issues and economic problems.

While Afghanistan is witnessing an acute humanitarian crisis in the wake of the return to power of the Taliban*, which has prompted hundreds of thousands of people to attempt to flee, Sweden doesn’t believe in a new refugee wave to Europe.

Mikael Ribbenvik, Director General of the Swedish Migration Agency, argued in an interview with national broadcaster SVT that the situation in Afghanistan looks bleak and condemned the Taliban’s attempt at a “charm offensive” in which they promised amnesty and pledged to respect women’s rights.

Secretary General of UNHCR Sweden Åsa Widell mentioned that 80 percent of the recent flow of refugees are women and children.

Nevertheless, both Åsa Widell and Mikael Ribbenvik assessed that the refugee situation in Afghanistan as primarily an internal issue, where no large flows of refugees are seen across borders.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven also weighed in on the issue, suggesting that a return to 2015, when Sweden received a record 163,000 asylum seekers in a single year, is not an option.

At the same time, Justice and Migration Minister Morgan Johansson told Swedish Radio that Sweden will rescue a group of activists and feminists from Afghanistan. According to Johansson, the group of yet-unspecified size…

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