After the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan, the Islamist Taliban took power in the country – and are redesigning it according to their ideas. The most important developments in the news blog.
Before the United Nations (UN) Aid Conference for Afghanistan, Development Minister Gerd Müller calls for a fundamental reform of international emergency aid. “With a UN emergency aid and crisis fund of ten billion euros, we could look ahead to prevent death worldwide from hunger and a lack of medication,” said the CSU politician of the Funke media group. The system of international aid must change – away from crisis intervention towards crisis prevention. “It cannot be that one has to die first. It is important to invest preventively.”
A humanitarian catastrophe was developing in Afghanistan, warned Müller. “The people are not only suffering from the violent takeover of power by the Taliban. There is also a severe drought. And the corona pandemic is rampant with unchecked force.” Almost half of the population is already dependent on help.
At the conference this Monday in Geneva, more than 600 million dollars are to be raised for Afghanistan. High-ranking representatives of the United Nations take part, including Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, and dozens of government representatives such as the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. (09/12/2021)
The Taliban are said to have killed the brother of ex-Vice President Saleh
The militant Islamist Taliban are said to have killed the brother of former Vice President Amrullah Saleh. His nephew Schuresch Saleh announced this to the German press agency on Saturday. According to this, Taliban fighters took his brother named Rohullah Asisi out of the car at a checkpoint in the Punjir province, which was captured by the Islamists this week, and shot him. The Taliban initially gave no statement.
Saleh declared himself the lawful incumbent head of state last month after President Ashraf Ghani fled abroad. After the fall of the capital Kabul and the Taliban seizure of power in mid-August, he built up resistance in the Punjir Valley. His current whereabouts are not known.
In the past few days there have been videos from the Pandjir Valley showing that hundreds of families tried to leave the valley with their belongings. It was initially unclear why. The telephone connections are not working. The humanitarian situation had worsened, among other things, because the Taliban have not allowed any more food deliveries since the beginning of their military offensive. A video was also circulated on Saturday that is supposed to show how the Taliban opened fire on an arrested person.
Kabul Airport: first civil transport aircraft launched
Almost two weeks after the end of the evacuation mission by western states in Afghanistan, two flights with civilians on board started again in Kabul on Thursday and Friday. Both machines flew in the service of Qatar Airways, the first brought more than 100 people to Doha, including 15 Germans. “The people who have flown out are mainly women and children,” said the Foreign Ministry in Berlin. On board the second machine on Friday were 19 US citizens and an undisclosed number of other citizens.
The foreign minister of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, said that the Kabul airport had been made operational again in the past few days. He thanked the Taliban for helping reopen the airport to civil aviation. Western states in particular hope to be able to take former local workers and other people seeking protection out of Afghanistan by air.
According to the US, the Taliban want to leave Afghanistan for 200 Americans and other civilians who stayed behind after the evacuation operation ended on August 31. (10.09.2021)
Taliban prohibit further protests
The militant Islamist Taliban have initially banned all further protests in Afghanistan. The Ministry of Interior’s first official statement after the formation of the government stated that no one should try to organize protests under any circumstances at the moment. Serious prosecution is threatened in the event of violations. The reason given by the Taliban was that some people had disrupted public order and harassed people in the past few days.
At the same time, the Islamists set the conditions for protests in the future. Organizers must therefore obtain prior approval from the Ministry of Justice. The reason for the demonstration, the location, the time and the slogans must be communicated to the judiciary and the security authorities at least 24 hours in advance.
The Taliban had used violence to suppress demonstrations in the past few days. They also arrested reporters covering protests and mistreated journalists on several occasions. The largest local TV stations apparently stopped reporting on the protests in Kabul, which had been going on for days. Women and men took to the streets in the capital, Kabul and several provinces, among other things for women’s rights and freedom. (09.09.2021)
The Taliban allow 200 US citizens and other civilians to leave the country
According to the US, the Taliban are allowing 200 Americans and other civilians to leave Afghanistan who stayed behind after the evacuation operation ended. A US representative told the Reuters news agency that charter flights were used from Kabul Airport. The departures are expected for Thursday. The US special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has urged the Taliban to let the people leave the country, said the insider, who did not want his name to be revealed. It was unclear whether these people from the USA and third countries were among those who were stuck in Mazar-i-Sharif for days because their private charter plane was not allowed to take off. (09.09.2021)
Maas and Blinken consult at Ramstein Air Base
At a meeting with his US counterpart Antony Blinken, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) expressed skepticism about the interim government set up by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Germany’s further engagement, according to Maas, depends on the future behavior of the militant Islamists. “The announcement of a transitional government without the participation of other groups and yesterday’s violence against demonstrators and journalists in Kabul are not the signals that give reason for optimism,” said the Foreign Minister.
Blinken and Maas met at the US air force base in Ramstein, Rhineland-Palatinate. “We are partners and share the same goals,” said Blinken. Together with Germany and other partners, 122,000 people have been brought from Afghanistan. Blinken thanked Maas not only for the evacuation mission, but also for the cooperation before the withdrawal from Kabul and the opportunity to allow Afghans and Americans to stay in Germany until they can travel on to the USA.
The new rulers in Afghanistan introduced 33 members of the government on Tuesday, all men and all Taliban members. Western states, on the other hand, had called for an inclusive government to which not only the Taliban belong. The German government even made this a condition for renewed payment of development aid, which was stopped for the time being after the Taliban came to power.
Blinken told the new government in Kabul that they would be judged by their actions. Some members have “very problematic résumés,” said Blinken, referring to Afghanistan’s new interior minister, who is wanted by the FBI as a terrorist. The new rulers must – as promised – prevent terrorist attacks and the international airport in Kabul must be reopened for private flights. Ways will be found to speak to the Taliban. The purpose of these talks was to enforce the national interests of the USA.
The German Foreign Minister said there was great concern about further developments in Afghanistan. It is “morally imperative” and a question of regional stability to send humanitarian aid to the country through the United Nations. Maas called on the Taliban to support such efforts and prevent Afghanistan from becoming a place for exporting terrorism again.
Less than one percent of the people who were brought to Ramstein had applied for asylum in Germany, Maas said. You are working very closely with the Americans on this issue. (09.09.2021)