Updated: August 14, 2021 2:50:40 pm
As the Taliban continue to seize more territory and key cities, leaders around the world have voiced their concerns regarding human rights violations by the extremist group.
Violence in Afghanistan escalated dramatically after US and other international forces launched the final stage of troop withdrawal following a 20-year occupation of the country.
Here’s how the world is reacting to the developments in Afghanistan:
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that “horrifying” reports have emerged that the Taliban have severely restricted the rights of Afghan women and girls in areas they have seized. “I’m… deeply disturbed by early indications that the Taliban are imposing severe restrictions on human rights in the areas under their control, particularly targeting women and journalists,” Guterres told reporters on Friday.
“It is particularly horrifying and heartbreaking to see reports of the hard-won rights of Afghan girls and women being ripped away,” he added.
Food and medical supplies are dwindling and critical infrastructure including schools and clinics has been destroyed, he said. The UN has appealed to neighbouring countries to keep their borders open, to allow people to reach safety.
More than 1,000 civilians were killed in Afghanistan in the past month alone, according to the UN.
President Joe Biden and other officials have repeatedly called for Afghan leaders to unite and chalk out a clear strategy amid mounting worries that the insurgents could besiege Kabul within months. The Pentagon and the State Department closely echoed Biden’s words, expressing concerns over the Taliban’s gains in the absence of US and NATO troops for the first time since the 2001 invasion.
Germany Thursday said it would stop sending financial support to Afghanistan if the Taliban succeeded in seizing power in the country. Germany sends Afghanistan 430 million euros ($504 million) in aid a year, making it one of the biggest donors to the strife-hit nation. The Taliban is aware of the fact that Afghanistan cannot survive without international aid, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told German broadcaster ZDF. “We will not send another cent to this country if the Taliban take complete control, introduce Sharia law and turn it into a caliphate,” Maas said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he could meet with the leader of the insurgent Taliban group in an attempt to help secure peace in Afghanistan. Turkey currently has troops in Afghanistan as part of a NATO force and has offered to secure the strategic Kabul airport after US forces leave by the end of August.
Roughly 45 Afghans employed by Denmark in the conflict-hit country will be offered temporary asylum as international troops withdraw, with other Nordic countries set to follow suit. Afghans who worked for the Danish armed forces or embassy will be offered evacuation to Denmark and a two-year residence permit, the Danish foreign ministry has said.
Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said the government was exploring ways of evacuating “at least dozens” of Afghans who have worked for the Nordic nation, echoing a similar promise from neighbouring Sweden.
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