“The First and deputy First Minister’s delay in opening up Northern Ireland to those fleeing Afghanistan has gone on long enough,” Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has said.
Speaking after the humanitarian disaster continue to play out, Kellie has now called on The Executive Office to make it clear Northern Ireland is open and ready to welcome those in need – even though it might be too little too late.
She added: “It’s time for the wall of silence to end. It shows a complete lack of empathy and kindness to have so far ignored those who now find themselves without a home and in critical danger.
“They can still change this. You only have to look at Syria in recent years to recognise Northern Ireland is an open and welcoming place to those in need. Yet so far we have done little to support those fleeing as a result of the horrifying situation unfolding in Afghanistan.
“Millions of people are at risk from the Taliban – with the lives and rights of women and girls particularly under threat due to an oppressive ideology. And yet we do nothing.
“The time for watching from afar has gone. I’m calling on the First and deputy First Minister to immediately take steps to come together with the relevant agencies across Northern Ireland to open Northern Ireland, offering as much refuge as possible for vulnerable Afghans.
“We will never forgive ourselves if we simply sit back and do nothing.”