18 April 2004 -- United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers said today that he hopes to see 1 million Afghan refugees return home this year.
Lubbers made his remarks at a news conference in the Afghan capital Kabul. He said he hopes those refugees will return home voluntarily from Iran and Pakistan.
Lubbers also acknowledged that security remains a problem in Afghanistan, where an estimated 3 million Afghan refugees have returned since the fall of the Taliban at the hands of a U.S.-led international coalition in late 2001.
An estimated 3.5 million Afghan refugees remain abroad, many of them in camps in Iran and Pakistan.