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Afghanistan marks 1 yr since Taliban seizure as woes mount

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KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban on Monday marked a yr since they seized the Afghan capital in a fast takeover that triggered a hasty escape of the nation’s Western-backed leaders, despatched the financial system right into a tailspin and basically reworked the nation.

Bearded Taliban fighters, some hoisting rifles or the white banners of their motion, staged victory parades on foot, bicycles and bikes within the streets of Kabul. One group marched previous the previous U.S. Embassy, chanting “Lengthy dwell Islam” and “Dying to America.”

A yr after the dramatic day, a lot has modified in Afghanistan. The previous insurgents wrestle to control and stay internationally remoted. The financial downturn has pushed hundreds of thousands extra Afghans into poverty and even starvation, because the circulation of international support slowed to a trickle.

The U.N. humanitarian chief for Afghanistan warned that until donors present $2.6 billion very quickly the nation faces “pure disaster” over the approaching winter with hundreds of thousands of lives at stake.

Ramiz Alakbarov informed a digital information convention from Kabul that the U.N.’s $4.4 billion humanitarian enchantment for Afghanistan this yr has acquired solely about $1.8 billion, leaving a $2.6 billion hole in funding for desperately wanted meals and different support.

He mentioned round 35 million reside in poverty, and 6.6 million are categorized within the emergency stage only one step from famine.

Alakbarov mentioned he simply visited a number of hospitals and noticed “heartbreaking scenes” of malnourished kids who won’t survive the winter with out extra help.

Whereas the Afghan persons are recognized for his or her resilience and skill to outlive, he mentioned, sadly “unfavorable coping methods” together with the promoting of organs and the promoting of kids will probably be seen once more “if help is just not supplied.”

In the meantime, hard-liners seem to carry sway within the Taliban-led authorities, which imposed extreme restrictions on entry to schooling and jobs for women and girls, regardless of preliminary guarantees on the contrary. A yr on, teenage women are nonetheless barred from college and ladies are required to cowl themselves head-to-toe in public, with solely the eyes displaying.

Some are looking for methods to maintain schooling from stalling for a technology of younger girls and underground faculties in properties have sprung up.

Natalia Kanem, govt director of the U.N.’s sexual and reproductive well being company, mentioned in an announcement that Afghan females should not be forgotten.

“Because the world faces a number of, overlapping crises, we should not overlook the ladies and women of Afghanistan. When girls’s and women’ fundamental rights are denied, we’re all diminished,” she mentioned.

A yr in the past, hundreds of Afghans had rushed to Kabul Worldwide Airport to flee the Taliban amid the U.S. army’s chaotic withdrawal from Kabul after 20 years of struggle — America’s longest battle.

Some flights resumed comparatively shortly after these chaotic days. On Monday, a handful of business flights had been scheduled to land and take off from a runway that final summer time noticed Afghan males clinging to the wheels of planes taking off, some falling to their demise.

Schoolyards stood empty Monday because the Taliban introduced a public vacation to mark the day, which they seek advice from as “The Proud Day of Aug. 15″ and the “First Anniversary of the Return to Energy.”

“Reliance on God and the help of the individuals introduced this nice victory and freedom to the nation,” wrote Abdul Wahid Rayan, the top of the Taliban-run Bakhtar Information Company. “In the present day, Aug. 15, marks the victory of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan towards America and its allies occupation of Afghanistan.”

Throughout a gathering to mark the anniversary, the Taliban deputy prime minister, Abdul Salam Hanafi, supplied congratulations to “all the nation on the day of the conquest of Kabul, which was the start of the whole finish of the occupation.”

In remarks broadcast dwell by state radio and TV, he boasted of what he described as “nice achievements” underneath the Taliban, resembling an alleged finish of corruption, improved safety and banned poppy cultivation.

On the eve of the anniversary, former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani defended what he mentioned was a split-second resolution to flee, saying he wished to keep away from the humiliation of give up to the insurgents. He informed CNN that on the morning of Aug. 15, 2021, with the Taliban on the gates of Kabul, he was the final one on the presidential palace after his guards had disappeared.

Tomas Niklasson, the European Union’s particular envoy to Afghanistan, mentioned the bloc of countries stays dedicated to the Afghan individuals and to “stability, prosperity and sustainable peace in Afghanistan and the area.”

“This can require an inclusive political course of with full, equal and significant participation of all Afghan women and men and respect for human rights,” Niklasson wrote.

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Faiez reported from Islamabad. Related Press writers Munir Ahmed in Islamabad and Edith M. Lederer on the United Nations contributed to this report.

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