The Taliban controlled Afghanistan on Monday after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country and admitted that the insurgents had won the 20 Years War.
The surprisingly rapid collapse of the government, with activists occupying the presidential palace on Sunday evening, sparked fear and panic in the capital.
Thousands of people were trying to escape Kabul and the dreaded form of the Islamic Taliban regime on Monday, with scenes of chaos as crowds gathered at the airport.
Ghani fled on Sunday as insurgents surrounded Kabul, with the Taliban sealing a nationwide military victory that ceded all towns to them in just 10 days.
“The Taliban have won with the judgment of their swords and guns, and are now responsible for the honor, property and preservation of their compatriots,” Ghani said in a statement posted to Facebook, his first since his death. leak.
In a video posted on social media, Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar also announced his movement’s victory.
“Now it is time to test and prove, now we have to show that we can serve our nation and provide safety and comfort in life,” he said.
Government forces collapsed without the support of the US military, which invaded in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks and overthrew the Taliban for their support of Al Qaeda.
The United States ultimately failed to put in place a democratic government capable of resisting the Taliban, despite spending billions of dollars and two decades of military support.
President Joe Biden was determined to withdraw all US troops by the end of this month, insisting there was no choice and that he would not “pass this war” on to another president. .
– Rapid collapse –
But the US administration was shocked by the rapid collapse of the Afghan government.
Although they insisted there would be no panicked Saigon evacuations from Kabul, US officials, their Afghan allies and other Taliban-fearing residents were all trying to flee on Monday.
The United States had sent 6,000 troops to the airport to transport embassy personnel as well as Afghans who were assisting the United States as interpreters or in other support roles.
However, the US government admitted that it did not have control of the airport.
“We are completing a series of measures to secure Hamid Karzai International Airport to allow the safe departure of US and allied personnel,” the Pentagon and the State Department said in a joint statement.
The United States then issued a statement with more than 65 countries urging the Taliban to let Afghans leave the country, warning of responsibility for any abuse.
“The United States joins the international community in affirming that Afghans and international citizens who wish to leave must be allowed to do so,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote on Twitter.
“Those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan bear responsibility – and accountability – for the protection of human life. “
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the Taliban and all parties to “exercise restraint” and said the rights of women and girls, who suffered under the previous Taliban regime, must be protected .
The UN has also said the Security Council will meet on Monday over Afghanistan.
– Isolated –
Ghani’s government was left completely isolated on Sunday after insurgents invaded the anti-Taliban northern stronghold of Mazar-i-Sharif and the eastern city of Jalalabad.
As with most of the other captured towns, the seizure of power came after the surrender or withdrawal of government forces.
They then surrounded the capital.
Thousands of police and other government security forces suddenly abandoned their posts, uniforms and even weapons on Sunday evening.
After initially ordering fighters not to enter the capital, a Taliban spokesperson confirmed that they entered Kabul on Sunday evening to “provide security.”
Three high-ranking Taliban sources told AFP that their fighters had taken control of the presidential palace and were holding a meeting on security in the capital.
For the tens of thousands of people who have sought refuge in Kabul in recent weeks, the mood was apprehensive and fearful.
“I’m afraid there is a lot of fighting here,” a doctor who arrived with his family of 35 from Kunduz told AFP, on condition of anonymity.
“I’d rather go home, where I know it left off. “
© 2021 AFP