It has been precisely a 12 months for the reason that Taliban seized the Afghan capital of Kabul, prompting terror, violence and protests throughout the nation.
The group’s takeover occurred shortly after President Joe Biden’s administration ordered American troops inside the war-torn nation to withdraw after 20 years of occupation. Its allies, together with the U.Okay., adopted go well with.
The evacuation has been torn aside by critics for leaving an influence vacuum in Afghanistan which allowed the militants to take maintain, whereas hundreds of civilians tried to flee.
The Taliban now mark August 15 as “independence day” — however the nation is definitely in dire situation.
Right here’s every little thing it’s worthwhile to find out about what has occurred in Afghanistan for the reason that West withdrew.
1. Al-Qaeda chief discovered and assassinated in Kabul
Ayman al-Zawahiri, believed to be the orchestrator of the 9/11 assaults in New York, was killed in a U.S. drone strike on the finish of July.
He was discovered hiding out within the capital of Kabul, and U.S. officers imagine he was staying on the house of a Taliban chief’s aide.
Nonetheless, the Taliban claimed that they had “no information about Ayman al-Zawahiri’s arrival and stay in Kabul.”
This declare has been closely scrutinized, because it means that the Taliban weren’t conscious who was on this closely guarded space within the Afghan capital – despite the fact that it’s visited by among the highest members of the Taliban management.
It’s particularly controversial as a result of the U.S. withdrawal stemmed from Donald Trump’s 2020 settlement with the Taliban, the place the phobia group vowed to not host terror teams which threatened the West — akin to Al Qaeda.
Shortly earlier than Zawahiri’s assassination, the Taliban’s inside minister additionally promised that al-Qaeda was a “dead” organisation with no presence in Afghanistan.
Whereas the Taliban have since vowed there isn’t any risk to the U.S. popping out of Afghanistan and mentioned it needed to honor the Doha pact, it did condemn the White Home for “invading” Afghanistan with the drone strike.
2. Devastating earthquake on Pakistan border
In June, an earthquake on the Afghan border with Pakistan left greater than 1,000 folks useless. An extra 1,500 suffered from accidents, making it the deadliest earthquake in Afghanistan for 20 years.
It accelerated the issues Taliban was already dealing with when it got here to governing Afghanistan, akin to making certain its inhabitants might entry fundamental wants.
The 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit the mountains within the Khost and Paktika provinces, within the southeast of the nation.
The Taliban’s supreme chief, Haibatullah Akhundzada, who hardly ever seems in public, even issued a uncommon plea for the worldwide group to “help the Afghan people affected by this great tragedy and to spare no effort.”
The United Nations did affirm that it had deployed well being groups, medical provides and emergency shelter to the areas.
However, former Afghan state minister for catastrophe administration Najib Aqa Fahim informed HuffPost: “Disaster response is complex and challenging.
“The Taliban administration lacks experience in responding to disasters. There was an insufficient response to the seriousness of the occurrence.”
3. Humanitarian disaster worsens
The UN imagine 95% of Afghans should not have sufficient to eat, whereas greater than one million kids below the age of 5 are affected by acute and extended malnutrition.
Even earlier than the Taliban invaded, round half of the inhabitants had been residing under the poverty line.
Nonetheless, this has simply worsened.
In January, the Taliban did meet with Western officers to speak in regards to the disaster in Oslo, though protesters round Europe mentioned this meant the Taliban had been successfully being rewarded with conferences.
After many years of battle, extreme drought and different climate-related disasters — together with June’s earthquake — Fahim warned HuffPost in June: “The scale of humanitarian needs will be massive.”
4. Afghan financial system in tatters
The Afghan financial system is undoubtedly struggling.
Round 75% of public spending used to come back from overseas grants, however this has been minimize off by the worldwide sphere for the reason that Taliban got here to energy.
Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, John Sifton, mentioned: “Afghanistan’s intensifying hunger and health crisis is urgent and at its root a banking crisis.”
Humanitarian assist continues to be reaching the war-torn nation, however £7 billion of Afghanistan’s overseas reserves have been frozen, and worldwide sanctions towards the Taliban imply there’s not a lot cash flowing into the nation proper now. Folks can’t even withdraw money from their banks.
In accordance with the regional director of the NGO Motion Towards Starvation, Sami Guessabi, there’s not a scarcity of meals, however Afghans simply can’t afford it.
This was worsened by the Russian invasion of Ukraine too, which result in a rise within the value of cooking oil, rice and flour.
Unemployment and meals costs are rising too, however the worth of the Afghan foreign money fell and banks set limits on money withdrawals.
5. Gender inequality sparks worldwide concern
Rights for girls and ladies in Afghanistan have been severely restricted for the reason that Taliban takeover, despite the fact that it’s attempting to current itself as a extra reasonable pressure.
This can be a changing into a rising concern for the worldwide group, with the European Union calling for Afghanistan to comply with worldwide treaties and respect ladies’s rights.
Ladies protested in main cities over the insurance policies in September final 12 months, however this was rapidly suppressed. Taliban fighters even fired into the air when ladies marched in a “bread, work and freedom” protest on Saturday.
Ladies arriving on the primary day of the varsity 12 months in March this 12 months had been prevented from coming into by armed Taliban guards, which means any lady above sixth grade couldn’t proceed with their schooling. This got here hours after the Taliban promised that ladies might obtain a good schooling.
The International Labour Organisation additionally present in January that 16% fewer Afghan ladies had been in work by the tip of the third quarter of 2021. For comparability, it was simply 6% fewer males – and this disparity is predicted to worsen over time.
In accordance with the BBC’s chief worldwide correspondent Lyse Doucet, ladies are even being informed to provide their jobs to their brothers in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital.
Ladies now should be accompanied with a male guardian for journeys of any vital size too, and should cowl their faces.