Kabul is taken by the Taliban: First evacuation of French nationals and Afghan personnel as of today

Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, announced the evacuation of French nationals and "[Afghan] personnel who have rendered eminent services to our country".

On Sunday, Kabul fell into the hands of Taliban. This capture marks the last milestone in a very rapid advance by the insurgents, who launched their offensive after the announcement of the withdrawal of American forces between May and September 2021. The Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, declared having left the country to avoid "a human catastrophe" linked to the clashes with the Taliban.

This morning, the streets of Kabul are deserted. The airport is filled with civilians trying to flee. Commercial flights have been canceled because of the " chaos »According to Agence France Presse.

In Kabul, a bread seller sits on an empty street.

“My first concern was growing my beard and growing it fast. I also checked with my wife if there were enough burqas for her and the girls. "

A carpet seller expresses his fears.

“I am in complete shock. The entry of the Taliban scared me, but Ghani leaving us all in this situation was the worst. "

According to Taliban officials, the group is awaiting a complete handover of power, without a transitional government. According to Mohammad Naeem, spokesperson for the Taliban political bureau, "The war is over in Afghanistan".

“We have achieved what we were looking for, namely the freedom of our country and the independence of our people. We will not allow anyone to use our land to target anyone, and we do not want to harm others. "

A Taliban leader told theReuters agency that "the order to allow the Afghans to resume their daily activities and to do nothing to frighten the civilians" had been given to the Taliban fighters.

Several promises state this desire to show a moderate face. There is even talk of a "Amnesty" for “all those who worked and helped the invaders”. Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen also told the BBC, "We will respect women's rights ... our policy is that women will have access to education and work, to wear the hijab."

But some Afghans fear a return to old practices, and in particular the strict interpretation of Sharia law.

Speaking to Radio France, Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, announced the French priority: the evacuation of French nationals and "personnel [Afghans, note] who have rendered eminent services to our country", "to do the maximum to protect personalities who have defended human rights ”.

The first evacuations will take place this evening. “At the request of the President of the Republic, two air and space army transport planes - a C130 and an A400M - will be deployed in the coming hours to the United Arab Emirates in order to carry out first evacuations in Afghanistan ”, announced the Minister last night on Twitter.

Emmanuel Macron will hold a defense council by videoconference at noon and will speak at 20 p.m.


Image: Jono Photography / Shutterstock

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