The Taliban announced, Tuesday, August 17, a “General amnesty” for all state officials, calling on them to return to work, two days after seizing power in Afghanistan, thanks to a lightning offensive. “A general amnesty has been declared for all (…), so you should resume your lifestyle with full confidence ”the Taliban said in a statement.
Discussions are still underway to formalize the seizure of power by the Taliban, who have multiplied messages to the international community to assure them that the Afghans have nothing to fear from them. But many Afghans fear that they would impose the same ultra-rigorous version of Islamic law only when they ruled the country, between 1996 and 2001. Women could neither work nor study. Wearing the burqa was compulsory in public and they could not leave their homes unless accompanied by a mahram, a male chaperone of their family.
The Taliban entered Kabul, the capital, without spilling blood, Sunday. But their triumph sparked panic scenes at Kabul airport, where thousands of people were desperately trying to flee the country. Hamid-Karzai International Airport is the only way out of the country, as the Taliban now controls all other airports in the territory as well as all land borders.
Videos posted on social media showed scenes of chaos, such as hundreds of people running near a US military transport plane on a takeoff runway, while some attempted to cling to the device.
Six thousand American servicemen
On Monday, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, strongly defended the decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan. Targeted by sharp criticism, he reiterated that Washington’s mission had never been to build a democratic nation in an unstable country, but to“Prevent a terrorist attack on American soil”. The United States intervened in Afghanistan in 2001 because of the Taliban’s refusal to hand over Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Mr. Biden also questioned the Afghan leaders, “Unable to negotiate for the future of their country”, who have “Abandoned and ran away”. “US troops cannot and should not fight and die in a war the Afghan forces do not want to wage for themselves”, he added, conceding however that the collapse of the Afghan government had been faster ” than [l’administration américaine ne l’avait] foreseen “.
The United States also said on Monday that its relations with Afghanistan would depend on “The behavior of the Taliban”. “A future Afghan government that preserves the fundamental rights of its people (…), including half of its population – its wives and daughters – [et] which does not offer refuge to terrorists ” is “A government we could work with”State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
On Monday, China was the first country to declare that it wants to maintain “Friendly relations” with the Taliban. Russia and Iran have also made gestures of openness.
Washington has sent 6,000 soldiers to secure Kabul airport and remove some 30,000 American nationals and Afghan civilians who have cooperated with the United States who fear for their lives. From Madrid to The Hague, via Paris, Bucharest, London, several other countries are also working to repatriate their nationals.
Flights, civilians and soldiers, suspended Monday afternoon due to the flooding of the runways, resumed overnight, announced the Pentagon. Mr Biden threatened the Taliban with a military response “Fast and powerful” if they disrupted evacuation operations.
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