Stormont Executive urged to provide homes for Afghans who helped allied forces

The Northern Ireland Executive has been urged to provide a safe home for Afghans who helped allied forces.

The call came from Ulster Unionist leader and Army veteran Doug Beattie, who won the Military Cross for his service in Afghanistan.

As scores of people attempt to flee the country following the taking of capital Kabul by the Taliban, Mr Beattie said Northern Ireland should offer a home to those who need it.

“Today a humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Afghanistan, thousands are fleeing the country: women, young girls and men, those who worked with us and those who worked for us,” he said.

“It’s important now that Northern Ireland, along with the rest of the international community, come together to support these people, and if they need a home then it is important that we here in Northern Ireland open our doors and give them a home.

“In our time of need they supported us, in their time of need, we must support them.”

MPs are to debate the situation in Afghanistan on Wednesday in the House of Commons.

Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan
British citizens and dual nationals get on an RAF plane out of Afghanistan (Ministry of Defence/PA)

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson earlier said Northern Ireland has a duty to consider offering sanctuary to some refugees from Afghanistan.

He told the BBC he feared there would be “terrible consequences from the Taliban” for people who “very courageously worked alongside our military”.