Afghanistan marks 1 yr since Taliban seizure as woes mount


KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban on Monday marked a yr since they seized the Afghan capital in a fast takeover that triggered a hasty escape of the nation’s Western-backed leaders, despatched the economic system right into a tailspin and essentially remodeled the nation.

Bearded Taliban fighters, some hoisting rifles or the white banners of their motion, staged victory parades on foot, bicycles and bikes within the streets of Kabul. One group marched previous the previous U.S. Embassy, chanting “Lengthy stay Islam” and “Loss of life to America.”

A yr after the dramatic day, a lot has modified in Afghanistan. The previous insurgents battle to manipulate and stay internationally remoted. The financial downturn has pushed tens of millions extra Afghans into poverty and even starvation, because the circulate of overseas assist slowed to a trickle.

The U.N. humanitarian chief for Afghanistan warned that except donors present $2.6 billion very quickly the nation faces “pure disaster” over the approaching winter with tens of millions of lives at stake.

Ramiz Alakbarov informed a digital information convention from Kabul that the U.N.’s $4.4 billion humanitarian attraction for Afghanistan this yr has acquired solely about $1.8 billion, leaving a $2.6 billion hole in funding for desperately wanted meals and different assist.

He stated over 90 million folks in Afghanistan are “meals insecure,” round 35 million live in poverty, and 6.6 million are categorized within the emergency stage only one step from famine.

Alakbarov stated he simply visited a number of hospitals and noticed “heartbreaking scenes” of malnourished youngsters who won’t survive the winter with out extra assist.

Whereas the Afghan individuals are identified for his or her resilience and talent to outlive, he stated, sadly “detrimental coping methods” together with the promoting of organs and the promoting of youngsters shall be seen once more “if assist shouldn’t be offered.”

In the meantime, hard-liners seem to carry sway within the Taliban-led authorities, which imposed extreme restrictions on entry to training and jobs for women and girls, regardless of preliminary guarantees on the contrary. A yr on, teenage ladies are nonetheless barred from college and ladies are required to cowl themselves head-to-toe in public, with solely the eyes displaying.

Some are looking for methods to maintain training from stalling for a era of younger ladies and underground faculties in houses have sprung up.

Natalia Kanem, government director of the U.N.’s sexual and reproductive well being company, stated in an announcement that Afghan females should not be forgotten.

“Because the world faces a number of, overlapping crises, we should not overlook the ladies and ladies of Afghanistan. When ladies’s and ladies’ fundamental rights are denied, we’re all diminished,” she stated.

A yr in the past, hundreds of Afghans had rushed to Kabul Worldwide Airport to flee the Taliban amid the U.S. navy’s chaotic withdrawal from Kabul after 20 years of conflict — America’s longest battle.

Some flights resumed comparatively shortly after these chaotic days. On Monday, a handful of economic flights had been scheduled to land and take off from a runway that final summer season noticed Afghan males clinging to the wheels of planes taking off, some falling to their loss of life.

Schoolyards stood empty Monday because the Taliban introduced a public vacation to mark the day, which they confer with as “The Proud Day of Aug. 15″ and the “First Anniversary of the Return to Energy.”

“Reliance on God and the assist of the folks introduced this nice victory and freedom to the nation,” wrote Abdul Wahid Rayan, the pinnacle of the Taliban-run Bakhtar Information Company. “Right now, Aug. 15, marks the victory of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in opposition to America and its allies occupation of Afghanistan.”

Throughout a gathering to mark the anniversary, the Taliban deputy prime minister, Abdul Salam Hanafi, provided congratulations to “the whole nation on the day of the conquest of Kabul, which was the start of the whole finish of the occupation.”

In remarks broadcast stay by state radio and TV, he boasted of what he described as “nice achievements” beneath the Taliban, corresponding to an alleged finish of corruption, improved safety and banned poppy cultivation.

On the eve of the anniversary, former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani defended what he stated was a split-second determination to flee, saying he needed to keep away from the humiliation of give up to the insurgents. He informed CNN that on the morning of Aug. 15, 2021, with the Taliban on the gates of Kabul, he was the final one on the presidential palace after his guards had disappeared.

Tomas Niklasson, the European Union’s particular envoy to Afghanistan, stated the bloc of countries stays dedicated to the Afghan folks and to “stability, prosperity and sustainable peace in Afghanistan and the area.”

“This may require an inclusive political course of with full, equal and significant participation of all Afghan women and men and respect for human rights,” Niklasson wrote.


Faiez reported from Islamabad. Related Press writers Munir Ahmed in Islamabad and Edith M. Lederer on the United Nations contributed to this report.

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