By Ebi Kesiena
Afghans taking refuge at the US base in Qatar have decried the deplorable conditions and treatment at the American-run facilities in Qatar.
In a report made available to the press, the base is described as littered by human waste and rubbish threatening to overwhelm the hangar where refugees were housed, as well as an infestation of rats.
Photos and video footage shared with Al Jazeera showed hundreds of Afghans crowded together in unsanitary conditions in a hangar at Al Udeid airbase in Qatar.
Afghan refugees who sent the pictures to Al Jazeera, said they were being kept in the sweltering heat where several people had fainted as they waited in long queues to use the toilet or receive food and water. Most did not have any spare clothes and were unaware of what their final destinations would be.
However, speaking on behalf of the US, John Kirby says the US is working on improving conditions for Afghan evacuees at a US airbase in Qatar after video footage obtained by media outlets showed them living in inhuman conditions.
Kirby said nobody was making excuses for the conditions at the base and everybody’s is focused on trying to improve the conditions.
Also responding to reports, William Urban, a spokesperson for Centcom said: “We recognise this is a challenging and difficult situation for these vulnerable individuals and families, and we remain committed to providing a secure, safe and sanitary environment.”
Meanwhile, staff at the US embassy in Kabul also harshly criticised the treatment of Afghan refugees at American-run facilities in Qatar, according to the Middle East Eye website.