As the Taliban has been celebrating the withdrawal of US-led NATO forces after 20 years of war, Afghans flee en mass their country. Remarkable footage shows thousands of people walking miles through the desert where the borders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran all meet.
“In the footage, with the human caravan stretching back as far as the eye can see, few words are spoken, and only the sound of goats being herded in the other direction can be made out.
For these men, women and children, their initial destination is likely to be Turkey, still more than 1,000 miles away across Iran, and from there many of them will hope to come to Europe.
For European politicians concerned about an influx of migrants to the Old Continent, these images will confirm their worst fears.
Biblical scenes show scale of Afghans' exodus from Taliban rule walking miles through the desert https://t.co/Teygwnfdjd
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) September 1, 2021
The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan on Aug.15. Since then the country has been cut off from the international financial institutions. The group is expected to announce the formation of a new Afghan government on Friday (Sept. 3), but its composition remains uncertain as of now.
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Tuesday warned of a looming “humanitarian catastrophe”, adding that basic services threatened to collapse “completely” in the war-torn country.
More than a third of Afghanistan’s population lives on less than $2 a day.
Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a statement Monday that around 3.5 million people had already been displaced by violence in the country and “most have no regular channels through which to seek safety.”
“Some Afghans will inevitably need to seek safety across the country’s borders. They must be able to exercise their right to seek international protection, and borders must be kept open for them for this purpose. Those countries that neighbor Afghanistan who have been taking in refugees for decades need greater support,” Grandi said.
The United States may have withdrawn from the battlefield in Afghanistan, but the struggle for power and influence there is ongoing.
The Taliban is close to forming a government. The announcement of a new administration could be made after Friday (Sept.3) afternoon prayers, two Taliban sources told the AFP news agency. “In order to support the Afghan population, we will have to engage with the new government in Afghanistan, which doesn’t mean recognition. It’s an operational engagement” the European Union’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell told reporters at a press briefing on Friday (Sept.3).
The Taliban on Tuesday (Sept.7) announced a new Afghan government. Chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid spokesman said the new caretaker government will be led by Mohammad Hasan Akhund,
one of the movement’s founders.
Other appointments include Sarajuddin Haqqani- the leader of the Haqqani militant group- as acting interior minister, Mullah Yaqoob-the son of the Taliban founder and late supreme leader Mullah Omar-as acting defence minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi as acting foreign minister, and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi as two deputies.
Mujahid named 33 members of “the new Islamic government” and said the remaining posts will be announced after careful deliberation.
With reporting by Daily Mail, Al Jazeera, CNN, AFP