The Taliban have taken control of the presidential palace in Kabul after former President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. Earlier talks to form a transitional government appear to have been scupper by Ghani’s departure.
Taliban declares ‘war is over in Afghanistan’
The Taliban has declared that Afghanistan is under their control and the war is over after insurgents stormed the presidential palace in Kabul and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. Despite two decades of US military presence in Afghanistan, and a war that cost over a trillion dollars, Taliban insurgents arrived at the gates of Kabul on Sunday and took the capital with little resistance.
Afghans and foreigners attempt to flee the capital
Thousands of Afghans and foreign nationals have surged onto the tarmac at Kabul airport seeking a place on a flight out of the country, amid chaotic scenes that unfolded as the Taliban took control of the city. With the Taliban installed in the presidential palace and the elected president having fled the country, access to Hamid Karzai airport, five kilometers from the center of the capital, was possible only through Taliban checkpoints.
The US, UK, Germany, Canada and a host of other coalition nations are all seeking to evacuate their nationals from the country. The southern civilian side of the airport came under fire on Sunday, and on Monday morning, there were reports US troops had fired into the air to disperse surging crowds.
An Afghan woman in Kabul: ‘Now I have to burn everything I achieved’
An Afghan woman in Kabul shares her view and situation there. She said, ‘now I have to burn everything I achieved. Early on Sunday morning I was heading to university for a class when a group of women came running out from the women’s dormitory. I asked what had happened and one of them told me the police were evacuating them because the Taliban had arrived in Kabul, and they will beat women who do not have a burqa.
We all wanted to get home, but we couldn’t use public transport. The drivers would not let us in their cars because they did not want to take responsibility for transporting a woman. It was even worse for the women from the dormitory, who are from outside Kabul and were scared and confused about where they should go.
As a woman, I feel like I am the victim of this political war that men started. I felt like I can no longer laugh out loud, I can no longer listen to my favorite songs, I can no longer meet my friends in our favorite cafe, I can no longer wear my favorite yellow dress or pink lipstick. And I can no longer go to my job or finish the university degree that I worked for years to achieve.
I loved doing my nails. Today, as I was on my way home, I glanced at the beauty salon where I used to go for manicures. The shop front, which had been decorated with beautiful pictures of girls, had been whitewashed overnight.’
Afghan President says fleeing the country was “a hard choice”
In a Facebook post on Sunday following his departure from the country, former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he will “always continue to serve” the nation. “I will always continue to serve my nation through offering ideas and programs,” Ghani wrote.
“Today, I came across a hard choice; if I should stand to face the armed Taliban who wanted to enter the palace, or leave the dear country that I dedicated my life to protecting and caring for the past twenty years,” he added.
Britain and US blamed for the disaster in Afghanistan
Britain and the US were blamed for the disaster unfolding in Afghanistan today as Taliban forces take the capital of Kabul and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
Stop the War Coalition (StWC) convenor Lindsey German said the desperate situation is the consequence of a failed 20-year long military intervention. “The responsibility rests with the US, British and other Nato governments which plunged into a war that was always doomed to fail. The starting of the conflict, not the manner of the ending of it, was the problem,” she said.