Afghanistan: Taliban occupied presidential palace and several countries evacuate their diplomats

The Taliban regained control of Kabul on Sunday with the entry of its fighters into the Afghan capital, while President Ashraf Ghani was leaving the country to avoid “a bloodbath”. “The Taliban won” and “they are now responsible for their country’s honour, ownership and self-preservation,” admitted Ghani as he dodged criticism for his quick and silent escape. After 20 years of military intervention and in frank withdrawal from Afghan territory, The United States took the reins of air traffic control at Kabul airport to facilitate its evacuations and those of its allies.

After a week in which insurgents took over nearly all 34 Afghan provincial capitals in the face of near-zero resistance from the Afghan government, Sunday dawned with news that the Taliban had already moved north, west and south of the Kabul Boundaries. Panic then broke out in the capital, with Afghan authorities urging all employees to leave their jobs and return to their homes, with the closing of stores and banks and the beginning of major traffic jams.

After the news of Ghani’s escape, the Taliban announced Sunday night that it was entering Kabul to prevent looting after Afghan police left police stations and other posts. Images of fighters clamoring for “victory” inside the presidential palace were broadcast on state television. According to three senior Taliban officials, a meeting had previously been held on the security situation in the Afghan capital.

A spokesman for Ghani informed the network Al Jazeera what the Taliban will offer an amnesty for those who worked with the government and military. In this context, following the departure of the Afghan president, power was transferred to a transitional council composed in particular by the head of the Superior Council for National Reconciliation in Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, and former president Hamid Karzai, who will later hand over the country’s destination for the Taliban. The insurgents have already warned that they expect “a complete transfer” of power as soon as possible.

Videos were posted on social media showing groups of heavily armed Taliban fighters patrolling the country’s large cities, holding white flags and greeting the population. “We take note of the Taliban’s return to Afghanistan and hope that their arrival will bring peace and not a bloodbath. I remember, as a child, the atrocities committed by the Taliban“, He said Tariq Nezami, a 30-year-old merchant from the center of the capital without much hope.

Photo: Twitter Al-Jazeera

Avoid a “blood bath”

Former President Ghani justified his decision to leave the country to avoid “a bloodbath”. “The Taliban had already declared that, in order to expel me, they were willing to carry out attacks against the city of Kabul and its citizens.. So he thought it was better to march,” the president said in a statement. Ghani said it was a “difficult decision” to choose between facing the Taliban who wanted to enter the presidential palace and leave the country to which he dedicated your life.

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Ghani insisted that the Taliban must guarantee the security of all the country’s residents and gain legitimacy with “all the people, nations, different sectors, sisters and women of Afghanistan”. The now ex-president did not specify which will be his country of destination, although it was found that I would stopover in Tajikistan.

The Afghan Defense Minister, Bismillah Mohammadi, who suffered a Taliban attack at his Kabul home last week, blamed the former president without apology. “They tied our hands behind our backs and sold the country, damn Ghani and his gang”, Shooting.

US embassy operation

The United States flew its flag at the embassy in Kabul on Sunday and nearly all its personnel were dispatched to the airport., where US forces took over air control. “We are currently completing a series of steps to enable a safe departure from Afghanistan for US personnel and allies on civil and military flights,” the Departments of State and Defense said in a joint statement.

The US Secretary of State, Antonio blinked, had previously assured the ABC network: “We are transferring men and women from our embassy to the airport. That’s why the president sent in armed forces. “Indeed, Joe Biden ordered the dispatch of 6,000 soldiers to help with evacuation tasks. The Pentagon estimates the number of people to be evacuated at 30,000.

Many have drawn parallels between images of US helicopters evacuating their embassy in Kabul with the even more chaotic US flight from Saigon following its defeat in Vietnam. “This is not Saigon”replied Blinken, who assured that mission in Afghanistan was “successful”.

Other countries such as Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom or Spain have also announced the start or the next evacuation of some of their embassy personnel and other Afghan citizens with their families who worked side by side with them. The British Prime Minister, boris johnson, urged his Western allies to adopt “a common position” against the Taliban “to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a breeding ground for terrorism again”.

20 years of war

The collapse of the Afghan army, which allowed Taliban fighters to take control of Kabul, showed the mistakes made over 20 years by the United States in spending billions of dollars in Afghanistan. US officials have repeatedly pledged that they would continue to support the Afghan army after Aug. 31, the announced date to complete the withdrawal of US troops, but never explained how they would do this logistically.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001. That year, they were overthrown by a coalition led by the United States and NATO. in the framework of the Islamic “war on terrorism” launched by Washington after the 9/11 attacks that were claimed by then-al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, assassinated by a US army commando ten years later.

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