WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 — According to the White House, images showed Afghan refugees arriving in Washington, another 10,900 people were evacuated from Kabul on Monday. But still, more remain crammed in or near the city’s airport. And decision time looms for US President Joe Biden over whether to allow more time to fly people out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. France, Germany, and the UK, he’s being pressed to do so, which says any foreign military presence at Kabul airport cannot continue without American troops. Here’s why not.
However, the US must leave by 31 August under a deal with the Taliban, who have warned of consequences if forces remain. Currently, 5,800 troops are on the ground. Mr. Biden will decide on any extension within 24 hours, according to Reuters. A defense official tells CNN that meeting the deadline would allow “a few more” days of evacuation before attention turned to pulling out troops. The Taliban insist people with passports will be able to leave on commercial flights after the deadline. But many trying to flee – particularly those who worked with foreign forces – fear a group that imposed a harsh version of Islamic law when in power from 1996 to 2001.
While the Taliban say they will respect the rights of women and girls, there are already reports of detentions and executions. The United Nations human rights council is to hold an emergency session later, amid pressure from humanitarian groups to create an international, independent body to investigate what is happening. However, a draft resolution stops short of this. Meanwhile, Downing Street says Prime Minister Boris Johnson will call for an increase in aid, and promise “to use every humanitarian and diplomatic lever” to protect human rights in the country when chairing a virtual G7 meeting later.
– NDN Reporter