Afghanistan: Western countries demand secure humanitarian corridors

Four days after the fall of Kabul, the evacuation of thousands of foreign and Afghan nationals continues. These evacuations are however difficult to organize and Western countries are calling for humanitarian corridors to allow all those who wish, Afghans and foreigners, to reach Kabul airport.

The first Afghans exfiltrated from Kabul by France arrived Wednesday August 18 in Paris. A French Air Force plane carrying more than 200 passengers, including 45 French and a large majority of Afghans, landed in the evening at Roissy airport. Another French aircraft carrying 185 people landed in Abu Dhabi. The United States and the United Kingdom, too, continue to evacuate hundreds of people, but Western countries are calling for humanitarian corridors.

It is the lifeline after which all diplomats present in Kabul run: the Taliban must accept the establishment of secure corridors between Kabul and the airport so that all those who wish to leave the country can do so in safety. .

But we are very far from it for the moment. Already, for the Americans, the French and the British, access to the airport is extremely complicated. We have to set up convoys, we have to try to obtain security guarantees and for the Taliban to secure the journey and that is already a headache.

But for the Afghans who want to leave the country, it is much worse. The Taliban, contrary to their public commitments, do not let them go. However, they committed to it two days ago, but nothing has changed. Hence the call launched Wednesday to the Taliban by the US State Department: ”  We expect the Taliban to allow all American citizens, all foreign nationals and all Afghans who wish to leave to be able to do so safely and without violence.  ”

Humanitarian corridors under discussion between negotiators

It also raises a lot of questions, particularly on the political level. Can the Taliban accept that thousands of Afghans are leaving, while this Afghan people, the Taliban claim to have liberated them by taking power? Letting everyone go, from the point of view of the Taliban, wouldn’t that be disavowing oneself and admitting that the Taliban ideology is not the only possible ideology?

Then, we know that these humanitarian corridors in Kabul are a very sensitive subject that is being discussed in Doha between American negotiators and the Taliban delegation. Imagine despite everything that the Taliban accept, what will they demand in return since they negotiate everything? We do not yet know, but time passes and the humanitarian window is narrowing day by day for Western chancelleries who want to extract as many people as possible.

The Afghan people face the Taliban

Violent protests broke out on Wednesday August 18 in Jalalabad 150 km east of Kabul. They resulted in the deaths of at least three people, after the Taliban opened fire on protesters who tried to hoist the national flag removed by the Taliban during the capture of the city on August 14. While the Islamist insurgents try to reassure the world, their speech of national reconciliation struggles to convince.

“  The situation will only get worse. The Taliban say they will bring peace to the people, but the opposite is going to happen, believes this resident of Jalalabad . They will act badly and do illegal things. Each day they will become more violent. There, as I speak to you, I am going through a checkpoint not far from my home. They are seven in front of me. If you saw them, they are not civilized.  ”

For this inhabitant of Jalalabad, the Taliban have kept the mentality of the 70s, 80s and 90s and it is unimaginable that they can control them: ”  They are not educated like us and we have become civilized, but they are not. . They don’t know anything, not even Islam. They are our enemies. The fear is there, it’s true, but there are positive things like courage and we will fight. As far back as I can remember, the Taliban only kill. We have to adapt and are not afraid. They can kill a person, a hundred or a thousand people, but they cannot kill a million. ”

Women’s uprising

Since the capture of Kabul by the Taliban, women worry about their future. They still remember their living conditions between 1996 and 2001, when the Taliban were in power. During this period, they could neither study nor work. Wearing the burqa was compulsory in public, and they could only leave their homes when accompanied by a man.

To prevent this situation from happening again, some Afghan women demonstrated in Kabul on August 17. According to Roh Hafza, a computer science student who lives in Herat, in the west of the country, Afghan women must rise up to keep their rights: “  We have received many messages from women, activists, and they told us that we had better make our voices heard, we better get out of our homes, not to be afraid. We had better tell the Taliban that we are women, and that we also have a role to play in this country.  ”

Roh Hafza believes that if women decide to make their voices heard against the Taliban, and show them that they are courageous enough now, no one will be able to hit them, no one will be able to force them to stay home and be women. home.

“  By doing this we can change a lot of things, but we have to be courageous. I think we can continue these kinds of demonstrations, but if we stay at home, the Taliban will think that we do not have enough courage to integrate into society and show what we are capable of,  ”said this student in computer science.

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