Norway boosts aid to Afghanistan

The Norwegian government is boosting its humanitarian aid to Afghanistan by NOK 48 million this year, because of drought and conflict.”The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is now even more demanding because of the drought,” said Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide. She made an unannounced visit to the terror-plagued country last week, and met both Afghanistan’s […]

Asylum murder suspect held in custody

An 18-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan, charged with murdering two other young asylum seekers in Trondheim earlier this week, has been ordered held in police custody while also recovering from a gunshot wound sustained while police were trying to arrest him. A fourth young Afghan man who was seriously injured in the attacks, has been […]

Norway faces own child refugee dispute

While Norwegian politicians joined international outrage over the US’ incarceration of illegal immigrant children this week, they were faced with controversy of their own over the custody and forced returns of young rejected refugees from Afghanistan. Reaction has been fast and furious to the Norwegian government’s attempts to send the mostly male teenagers to a […]

Asylum seekers decline by half

A total of 674 people sought asylum in Norway during the first three months of this year, just over half the number who sought asylum in the first quarter of last year. There aren’t fewer people fleeing war and poverty, it’s just become much harder to get to Northern Europe. The numbers of new arrivals […]

Deported Afghan refugees forced to flee

Seven out of 10 Afghan refugees who’ve returned to Afghanistan are forced to flee again, claimed the Norwegian Refugee Council (Flyktninghjelpen) this week. It has criticized the Norwegian government’s program of forced returns of refugees not deemed as qualifying for asylum, and its secretary general Jan Egeland will meet Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide next […]

Norwegian injured in Kabul attack

Arne Strand, a researcher specializing in Afghanistan for the Chr Michelsens Institutt (CMI) in Bergen, was reported to be in relatively stable condition at a hospital in Kabul after being caught in a terrorist attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul over the weekend.  Strand, an assistant director of CMI, was on what the institute […]

Calls rise to halt Afghan returns

Norway’s conservative government is under more pressure to stop sending rejected refugees back to Afghanistan, especially minors when they turn 18. Amnesty International is among those demanding the halt to forced refugee returns, claiming Afghanistan is as dangerous as ever, but there’s still broad political support for the practice, also from the Labour and Center […]

NATO seeks troops for Afghanistan

NATO’s Norwegian secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, wants his homeland to send more troops to Afghanistan. Norway has withdrawn most all its soldiers after years of engagement, and has resisted calls to re-join the fight against the Taliban, but new talks with NATO are now underway. “Norway has good soldiers and good capacity that we earlier […]

MPs debate lessons from Afghanistan

The Norwegian government and Members of Parliament (MPs) finally took time in the New Year to study and debate Norway’s lengthy participation in the war in Afghanistan. Most agree, at least, on one conclusion from a critical report by experts last year: Norway proved itself to be a good and reliable ally of the US, which led the […]

‘Horrible’ refugee returns questioned

Several Members of Parliament are demanding answers from Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug regarding her active efforts to return asylum seekers to Aghanistan. Some are calling the practice “horrible,” not least after Afghanistan’s own ambassador to Norway has asked that it be halted. Ambassador Shukria Barakzai, who arrived in Oslo in February just after last year’s refugee […]