They took a flight from the Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi province, to the Soekarno Hatta International Airport on the outskirts of Jakarta before proceeding to Afghanistan.
The two refugees returned to their country of origin after the International Organization for Migration (IOM) accepted their applications for an assisted voluntary return (AVR), head of the Makassar Immigration Office's Detention House, Togol Situmorang, said.
Several Afghan refugees staying in the Indonesian city of Makassar have applied for the AVR facility to enable them to return to Afghanistan after facing uncertainty in their long-awaited quest for resettlement in a third country, he said.
“(On) Average (most) of them apply for the IOM's AVR facility owing to their tiredness of waiting for so long a time and for family-related reasons," Situmorang said, adding that Australia and Canada are the most favorable third countries for Afghan refugees.
Due to the protective policies of several receiving countries and the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the refugees' opportunities for getting accepted by favorable third countries are getting fewer.
Therefore, one of the best options for them is the AVR facility, Situmorang added.
"I have stayed in Indonesia for six years. I still have many relatives in Afghanistan. It is better for me to return home than wait for the resettlement in uncertainty," he said.
Asadullah Haidari and Murtaza boarded Batik Air's ID6289 flight from Makassar to Cengkareng on Tuesday at 10 a.m. local time. Four Indonesian immigration officials accompanied them on the flight.
Shortly after arriving at the Soekarno Hatta International Airport, the Indonesian immigration officials took them to the Afghanistan Embassy in Jakarta for an interview and due administrative process.
At 5:55 p.m. Western Indonesia Standard Time (WIB), they boarded an Emirates' flight bound for Dubai International Airport, and continued their flight to the Kabul International Airport from Dubai at 4:10 a.m. local time, Situmorang said. (INE)
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