Afghan refugees return home

Deal with tribal elders allows safe passage for thousands.

    Thousands of Afghans were displaced after
    fighting in July [GALLO/GETTY]

    Thousands of Afghans are returning to their homes in Kandahar province after a deal with local tribal leaders.

    The internally displayed people will be allowed safe passage to the area around Panjwayi district from which they had fled.

    More than 10,000 people had left the area in which there has been heavy fighting between the multi-national forces in Afghanistan and the Taliban fighters.

    Many of the people have been living in temporary accommodation near Kandahar city for months and
    lost relatives and had their homes destroyed in the violence.

    United Nations relief agencies and the Afghan government will provide them with tents and food as part of the return programme.

    James Bays, Al Jazeera's correspondent, has been travelling with the region's governor, who is overseeing the programme, and spoke to some of those who were returning.

    "They are very happy to be going home to where they live but they are concerned that when the winter's over the fighting may well start again," he said.

    Many more are expected to arrive in the area in the coming days.

    The International Organisation for Immigration has said that an estimated 80,000 people have been displaced in the southern Afghan provinces of Kandahar, Helmandand Uruzgan since a surge of fighting in July and are now living with relatives or camping in parks, schools and on the streets of towns and villages in the region.  

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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