Last week US troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan after 20 years of occupation and upon their exit the Taliban swiftly took over the country. Millions of civilians have been left terrified as mass evacuations are taking place in Afghanistan.
Their former president, Ghani has been allowed into the UAE on humanitarian grounds as the chaos continues.
US troops are set to fully withdraw from the country on the 31st of August. UK troops are set to leave around the same time after their last evacuation flight leaves Afghanistan. The Taliban have said any attempts for US forces to stay beyond the 31st of August would be forced to leave.
Poland and Denmark have withdrawn and France are finishing their evacuation efforts in the next 24-48hours.
UK troops were present within the country when the Taliban took over but the UK Government insists they alone couldn’t stop what happened. They have said however, they hope to take in 20,000 refugees that are fleeing from the violence and terror of their homeland in the next five years.
Videos have also emerged online of members of the Taliban discovering things such as trampolines and theme parks for the first time, alongside pictures and footage of civilians trying to hold onto planes as they fly through the air and civilians being cramped inside aircraft trying to escape which makes the situation feel surreal. As bizarre or humorous the first style of videos appear to be, do not let yourself become desensitised to the wider issue of the situation. People are dying.
The situation has continued to escalate throughout the week. Reports have said children have been separated from their families during the evacuation process and people have been beaten on route to Kabul airport. A woman was burned alive over “not being a good cook” by the Taliban as other senseless acts of violence have taken place. Animal charities trying to rescue animals were also stopped by the Taliban.
It’s also appearing highly likely that a terror attack against the airport is imminent. Isis K seems to be the most likely group to attack the airport.
In Afghanistan under the Taliban, there is a real cause of concern for women and children’s welfare. The Taliban have been very against women’s rights and freedom. They disagree with women being educated, women leaving their homes alone without a male guardian, women wearing what they class as ‘inappropriate’ attire and are against women working. The Taliban said in a press conference that they want women and journalists to keep the rights they had before they took control, but their words are not as trustworthy as their actions.
As refugees escape the country and eventually make their way to the UK, people will hit out and say they are ‘stealing jobs and benefits’ when that couldn’t be further from the truth. These people will have escaped intense blood shed, destruction and trauma. If a refugee family moves into your neighbourhood don’t see it as a threat, see it as an opportunity to offer kindness and love. In times like this the phrase ‘all lives matter’ comes to mind. People were quick to use it during the BLM movement last year, but then went back on what that saying meant when it came to asylum seekers and kids receiving free school meals. If you were one of those that used the phrase and did mean it, don’t turn your back on refugees and similar people fleeing difficult situations. If ‘all lives matter’ to you welcome these people into your community as they need as much care as possible.