Victor Deschamps, pour Eurasia Business News – August 17, 2021

Thousands flee Kabul after Taliban took control of the capital city on August 15.

On July 9, the Taliban claimed control of 85% of Afghan territory and take two important border posts with Iran and Turkmenistan. In the following weeks they have tightened the noose around Kabul. On August 15, after some fights against the governmental forces, the Afghan capital fell under control of the Taliban.

Thus, the islamist movement has regained power in Afghanistan twenty years after being driven out by the Western coalition.

Amid fears of repression and arrests, the Taliban movement announced a general amnesty in Afghanistan and called on citizens to return to normal life and work, AFP reports. It was presented by Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Commission of the Movement on Culture, two days after they took power. The movement’s statement emphasized that the amnesty was announced for everyone.

Enamullah Samangani also said that women should not be victims and that they will be allowed, in accordance with Sharia law, to enter the Afghan government.

In spite of these pledges, it remains difficult to believe that the Taliban will protect the rights of Afghan civilians, former public servants, women and girls. Many fear that the girls will be deprived of their right to education and that death penalty against political opponents will be used by the Taliban.

While the structure of the future government is unclear, the Taliban movement will occupy key positions. However, the Government may also include representatives of all forces and movements in the country.

Before the conquest of Kabul, the Taliban have taken control of the capitals of most of the provinces of the country, during an offensive started in May 2021. 

On August 15, President Ashraf Ghani announced his resignation and fled the country. 

The former president Hamid Karzai said that a Coordination Council was created in Kabul to transfer power to the Taliban, which included the former president, the former Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah and the leader of the Islamic Party Gulbeddin Hekmatyar.

On August 16, thousands of Afghans arrived at the Kabul airport in an attempt to leave the country, fearing the Taliban rule. Some were killed by falling off the landing gear of the plane taking off, some armed Afghans were shot by the US military, who took control of the airport to secure the evacuation operations.  

The U.S. is continuing to process visas for Afghans and their families who aided U.S. troops. Roughly 100 U.S. embassy staffers remain at the Kabul airport —they will be the last ones out. 

US troops are present inside the airport while the Taliban are reportedly deployed outside

The Taliban also took control of the Tolonews news agency, which, however, continued to release news.

On August 17, one of the Taliban leaders, former Minister of Higher Education Amir Khan Muttaki was in Kabul and was participating in negotiations with former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and former chairman of the Supreme Council for Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah. They agree on the composition of the new government, which the Taliban had previously promised to make “inclusive.”

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