August 19, 2021

Afghanistan update as Taliban take control

Anthony Tilghman
Anthony Tilghman, is an 2x Award-winning photographer, Education advocate, Mentor, and Published Author with years of experience in media, photography, marketing and branding. He is the Winner of the 2020 & 2021 Dateline award for Excellence in Local Journalism.

Chaos continues in Afghanistan as many Afghanis remain stranded at the airport with the hopes of fleeing the country after Kabul collapsed to the Taliban on Sunday. The thought of living under the Taliban rule too terrifying. And understandably so, seeing how the Taliban shot at and clobbered protestors with batons in Jalalabad. Afghanis who stood up for the Afghanistan’s flag, replacing the Taliban flag-something that led to the death of at least one person and left seven people injured.

For Afghanis, fleeing to the airport, it has been difficult to say the least. According to reports, Taliban troops are manning entry routes to the airport and are beating up Afghanis going to the airport. As the heartbreaking scenes at the airport unfolded, at least five people were killed in the chaos; a number that has since risen to twelve according to NATO. 

Life on the streets of Kabul, is visibly different. Taliban Forces patrol its streets and though the streets appear busier, there are fewer women. Businesses that had female employees have had to send them home, as it is unclear if the Taliban will approve of working womenas they strictly follow the Sharia Law. It would appear, that some Afghanis are beginning to adjust to the Taliban rule.

As the Taliban took control over the country, it also took hold of U.S. supplied firepower. That includes an array of ammunition, helicopters and even a combat aircraft after the Afghani forces were unable to protect district centers. This was confirmed by on Monday by a US defense official. The official’s statement wasn’t made on public, he revealed this anonymously as he wasn’t allowed to speak on the matter. 

Nations globally are discussing the way forward in regards to severe humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. The United Kingdom, called for an emergency parliamentary session where it was proposed that the UK government would take up to 20,000 Afghani refugees over the years. A decision that was met with a lot of criticism from the Labor Party, who felt that that figure was too small. The conservative backbenchers in the house, harshly criticized the decision for the withdrawal of western forces who at least kept the Taliban accession to power. 

President Biden, in interview with ABC News on Wednesday, said that the U.S. Forces might have to stay in Afghanistan well over the August 23rd deadline to ensure the safe evacuation of all US Citizens. Additionally, the Deputy Secretary, announced in Press briefing, that the US government was sending additional Consular Officers by Friday, this week to ensure not only the safe evacuation of all US citizens but also Afghani allies and any Afghani citizen who might be at risk for one reason or the other.

Just yesterday, the deposed Afghani president, Ashraf Ghani, broke his silence after he fled to the United Arab Emirates on Facebook Live. In his speech he was quick to defend himself against accusations made against him of stealing million in state funds before he fled. It is also in his speech that he stated that he had no intentions of remaining in exile and that he was “in talks” with the Taliban. He also expressed appreciation for the Taliban’s initiative to talk to senior political officials of Afghanistan. Whether the Ashraf Ghani will return to Afghanistan, remains to be seen but it very unlikely.

For Afghanis, fleeing to the airport has been not easy, to say the least. According to reports, Taliban troops are manning entry routes to the airport and are beating up Afghanis going to the airport.  According to NATO, the heartbreaking scenes that unfolded at the airport saw at least five people get killed in the chaos—a number which has since risen to twelve.

Life on the streets in Kabul is visibly different. Taliban Forces patrol its streets, and though the streets appear busier, there are fewer women. Businesses that had female employees have had to send them home, as it is unclear if the Taliban will approve of working women as they strictly follow the Sharia Law. Some Afghanis are beginning to adjust to Taliban rule.

Nationals all around are discussing the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. The United Kingdom called for an emergency parliamentary session where it was proposed that the U.K. government would take up to 20,000 Afghani refugees over the years- a decision met with criticism from the Labor Party. The party felt that that figure was too small. The conservative backbenchers in the house harshly criticized the decision for the withdrawal of western forces who at least kept the Taliban accession to power.

In an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, President Biden said that the U.S. Forces might have to stay in Afghanistan well over the August 23rd deadline to ensure the safe evacuation of all U.S. Citizens. Additionally, the Deputy Secretary announced in a press briefing that the U.S. government would be sending additional Consular Officers by Friday. A move to ensure the safe evacuation of all U.S. citizens and Afghani allies and any Afghani citizen who might be at risk for one reason or the other.

Just yesterday, the deposed Afghani president, Ashraf Ghani, broke his silence after he fled to the United Arab Emirates on Facebook Live.  In his speech, he was quick to defend himself against accusations made against him of stealing millions in state funds before he fled. In his speech, he also stated that he had no intentions of remaining in exile and that he was “in talks” with the Taliban. He also expressed appreciation for the Taliban’s initiative to talk to senior political officials of Afghanistan. Whether Ashraf Ghani will return to Afghanistan remains to be seen, but it isn’t very likely.

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