1 Power neither inclusive nor representativeThe departure of American and Western troops on August 15, 2021, followed by two weeks of chaotic evacuations, marked the return of the Taliban, who had governed the country from 1996 to 2001 before being overthrown by the United States offensive in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. A year later, the country is ruled from Kandahar by a supreme leader as powerful as he is discreet, Hibatullah Akhundzada, surrounded by the most rigorous Taliban faction. Despite vague promises, the government he heads rests on the circle of the historic Taliban and of the majority Pashtun ethnic group. No place, therefore, for representatives of ethnic minorities, Tajiks or Hazaras, nor for women. The new power can pride itself on having restored order after twenty years of civil war and foreign occupation. But it is at the price of a sectarianism symbolized by the actions of the morality police under the orders of the “Ministry for the Suppression of Vice and the Propagation of Virtue”.2 Sad fate of women and girls Gender segregation , the backbone of the Taliban ideology, turned out to be the top priority. Since May, wearing the burqa in public spaces has become the norm again. And beware of those who would risk wearing a simple veil, or moving outside their homes without being accompanied by a man from their family. On Saturday August 13, a small demonstration of about forty women demanding their rights, as many of them wanted to do in the weeks following the return of the Taliban, was brutally dispersed. Encouraged to stay at home, banished from the most of the public jobs, discouraged from exercising the slightest employment, the Afghan women are living a great and painful setback. Primary school remains open to girls, but the promise to keep high schools and colleges open to them has not been kept. And if universities continue to welcome girls in single-sex courses, their recruitment will dry up when current students leave the benches. Faced with this educational apartheid, the only recourse is the organization of clandestine schools, which are trying with great difficulty to survive.3 Economic and financial crisisAccording to estimates by international organizations, more than half of the 38 million Afghans live in food insecurity, not to say starvation. And the restrictions affect 95% of the population. The US freeze on Afghan Central Bank assets has not been lifted, causing the banking system to collapse. And international aid, which represented 45% of the country’s wealth, is limited to emergency humanitarian aid, which is far from sufficient. The Taliban leaders minimize the difficulties and the exploitation of mineral wealth, first and foremost coal, their allows you to collect some income and taxes. But unemployment has exploded, forcing families to live on sometimes terrible expedients such as the sale of children or organ trafficking. And within the Taliban ranks, grassroots discontent and top-level rivalries are risks for the future.4 No international recognition
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