Afghanistan: race against time to carry out evacuations before the August 31 deadline

the essential The Americans yesterday stepped up their efforts to evacuate thousands of Afghans and foreigners from Kabul as quickly as possible, the Taliban having warned that they would no longer tolerate these operations until one week.

It is a race against time which is engaged on the airport of Kabul to carry out all the evacuations before the deadline of 14. The Taliban confirmed yesterday that they would not allow evacuations to extend beyond this deadline.

Around Kabul airport, thousands of Afghans have been massing for days, some with their entire families, in the hope of being able to enter and board one of the planes chartered by the Westerners which follow one another on the tarmac. In the afternoon, the spokesman of the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, lectured the West, accused of emptying the country of its vital force by evacuating the Afghans who worked with them, often among the most qualified. A few hours later, Joe Biden, decided to maintain the deadline of 14, after having participated a little earlier in a virtual summit of the leaders of the G7 (read box) . To justify his decision, the American president evokes the “growing” threat of an attack by the Islamic State (IS) group against the soldiers and civilians massed at Kabul airport

450 people landed in Paris

According to the Washington Post , CIA Director William Burns spoke with Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar, a discussion that likely turned around the evacuations. The Americans removed 31 people – including 4 000 nationals holding an American passport – since the establishment of the airlift on 14 August, the day before the Taliban entered Kabul and seized power. On the French side, two new flights of people evacuated by France from Kabul landed in Paris yesterday, carrying 450 people including a large majority of Afghans, who, after having worked for the former government or with foreigners, fear that the Taliban will seek revenge and establish the same type of fundamentalist and brutal regime as when they were in power, between 1996 and 2001.

“They haven’t changed”

“The Taliban have not changed,” Nilofar Bayat, captain of the Afghan wheelchair basketball team, who managed to leave her country to take refuge in Spain, said Monday.

Outside Kabul, in the countryside and some towns, many are relieved to see decades of war come to an end. But women and ethnic minorities worry about their plight.

Now that they have to rule a country that has changed a lot in two decades, the Taliban are trying to present themselves in a more moderate light to the people and the international community, but without convincing.

The Taliban spokesman assured that Afghan women employed in the administration could return to work “when security is assured” adding that they should stay at home by then.

The G7 is asking for more time

The EU called on the United States yesterday at a virtual G7 summit to secure Kabul airport “for as long as necessary” to “complete” ongoing evacuation operations of Afghans deemed to be in danger as well as their families. The leaders of Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom also warned the Taliban who “will have to account for their actions to prevent terrorism and on human rights, in particular those of women “recalling that Afghanistan should” never again become a safe haven for terrorism “.

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