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Afghanistan - Not a political thread: Potential large public health threat as government falls - August 15, 2021 - population total is approx. 38 million

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  • Emily
    Former Afghan President Ghani Flees with $169m, Holes in Dubai


    Ashraf Ghani

    Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani reportedly fled his country with $169 million in his cash-stuffed helicopter and has been given asylum in Dubai on ‘humanitarian grounds,’ a source has revealed.

    Ghani fled the country on Sunday night to avoid bloodshed, as the Taliban closed in on the capital Kabul.

    He reportedly took with him four cars and a helicopter loaded with $169 million in bags of cash – but was forced to leave some of the money behind as it would not all fit in the flight...

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  • sharon sanders


    Several European countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland, announced their evacuation missions would end on Thursday. Denmark said its last flight left Afghanistan on Wednesday evening. Canada's efforts have also come to an end, General Wayne Eyre, Canada's acting chief of defense staff, said in a virtual briefing Thursday.

    In the wake of the blast, French President Emmanuel Macron warned the situation around the airport had seriously deteriorated. "As we speak, we have 20 buses of dual citizens and Afghans that we would like to be able to repatriate," he said. "I cannot guarantee that we will be successful because the security situation is beyond our control."

    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK will continue its evacuation operation from Kabul despite the "barbaric" attack.


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  • Pathfinder
    'Horrific' images emerging from Kabul

    Sky's US correspondent Mark Stone says there are currently images we're unable to broadcast "because they're so horrific".

    The images show the sewage canal area where thousands of people had been waiting outside Kabul airport, and where one of the blasts happened.

    "The idea that it is just 13 people who have died, I think that will quickly become clear that the number is far, far greater," he says.

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  • Pathfinder
    Security Alert: U.S. Embassy Kabul (August 26, 2021)

    Home | News & Events | Security Alert: U.S. Embassy Kabul (August 26, 2021)


    There has been a large explosion at the airport, and there are reports of gunfire.

    U.S. citizens should avoid traveling to the airport and avoid airport gates at this time.

    U.S. citizens who are at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately.

    Actions to take:
    • Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially in large crowds.
    • Follow the instructions of local authorities including movement restrictions related to curfews.
    • Have a contingency plan for emergencies and review the Traveler’s Checklist.
    • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
    • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
    • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.

    By U.S. Embassy in Kabul | 26 August, 2021 | Topics: Alert, Notification

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  • Pathfinder
    Explosion outside Kabul airport

    Blast outside Kabul airport kills at least 11 people, including children, Taliban official says.

    26 Aug 2021
    There were chaotic scenes outside the Emergency Hospital as dozens of cars and ambulances brought in the wounded including the elderly and children, Al Jazeera’s Ali M Latifi reported.

    Several countries urged people to avoid the airport earlier in the day, with one saying there was a threat of a bombing. But just days – or even hours for some nations – before the evacuation effort ends, few appeared to heed the call.

    A US official said an initial report suggested the explosion appeared to be caused by a suicide bomb, but cautioned that the assessment could change.

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  • sharon sanders
    More Epic Fail happening that is a preventable public health debacle.

    John Kirby

    We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties. We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate. We will continue to update.
    John Kirby

    We can confirm that the explosion near the Abbey Gate of the Kabul airport has resulted in an unknown number of casualties. We will continue to update.
    John Kirby

    We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport. Casualties are unclear at this time. We will provide additional details when we can.

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  • Pathfinder
    31st Special Session of the Human Rights Council

    The serious human rights concerns and situation in Afghanistan

    Statement by Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

    24 August 2021

    Madam President,
    Colleagues and friends,

    At this critical moment, the people of Afghanistan look to the Human Rights Council to defend and protect their rights. The need to prevent the commission of human rights abuses of even greater magnitude and scope make this an essential meeting.

    The rapid seizure of much of the country, including the capital, by the Taliban has raised grave fears of a return to past patterns of human rights violations, and stoked desperation among many Afghans.

    In recent weeks, my Office has received harrowing and credible reports of the impact on civilians of violations of international humanitarian law, as well as violations and abuses of human rights, by the parties to the conflict.

    UNAMA's Protection of Civilians report from 1 January to 30 June this year already indicated an increase in civilian casualties of nearly 50 percent compared to the same period in 2020. Unquestionably, that toll further increased over the months of July and August.

    In particular, we have also received credible reports of serious violations of international humanitarian law, and human rights abuses, taking place in many areas under effective Taliban control. They include, among others, summary executions of civilians and hors de combat members of the Afghan national security forces; restrictions on the rights of women – including their right to move around freely and girls' right to attend schools; recruitment of child soldiers; and repression of peaceful protest and expression of dissent.

    Many people now fear reprisals by the Taliban against those working with the Government or the international community; people who have worked to advance human rights and justice; or those whose lifestyles and opinions are simply perceived to be opposed to the Taliban ideology.

    There are grave fears for women, for journalists and for the new generation of civil society leaders who have emerged in the past years. Afghanistan's diverse ethnic and religious minorities are also at risk of violence and repression, given previous patterns of serious violations under Taliban rule and reports of killings and targeted attacks in recent months.

    The harrowing humanitarian situation – aggravated by sustained drought, the COVID-19 pandemic, and significant shortfalls in enabling economic, social and cultural rights – has further deepened with recent events.

    A month ago SRSG Deborah Lyons indicated that 18 million Afghans were facing a dire humanitarian situation. This was double the number in July 2020, amounting to one half the people in the country – and it is set to increase.

    UNHCR has estimated that an additional 270,000 people have been forced to leave their homes and livelihoods since January 2021, bringing the total displaced population to more than 3.5 million. We can expect that significant numbers of people will seek refuge in neighbouring countries or outside the region.

    The United Nations is committed to stay and deliver aid to those in greatest need, to support efforts to restore peace and stability and to promote the rights and dignity of all Afghans. With fundamental human rights in the balance, my Office will be working urgently to reinstate arrangements for monitoring human rights violations.

    Madam President,

    In statements over the recent weeks, the Taliban has pledged to respect and protect human rights.

    Taliban spokespeople have made specific commitments to respect women's right to work and girls' right to attend school, within the Taliban's interpretation of Islamic law. They have also said they would respect the rights of members of ethnic and religious minorities, and refrain from reprisals against those who have worked with the Government or the international community.

    The onus is now fully on the Taliban to translate these commitments into reality. In seizing effective control of much of the country, they must ensure, in those areas, ongoing respect for the international human rights commitments made by the State – as well as ensuring ongoing, and indeed heightened, provision of essential public services, without discrimination, to all.

    International human rights law is immutable. Enjoyment of human rights is not subject to changes in control of territory or de facto authority.

    Moreover, significant advances in human rights over the past two decades have given the people of Afghanistan a strong stake in a society that values and defends human rights.

    Civil society organisations have flourished across the country. Women have assumed public roles and leadership positions in the media and across society. In 2021, 27 percent of members of parliament and one fifth of civil servants were women. Some 3.5 million girls were attending schools – compared to 1999, when no girls could attend secondary school and only 9,000 were enrolled in primary education.

    Human rights defenders have contributed to the economic, political and social development of their communities across the country. A courageous and independent national human rights institution has played a front line role. A plurality of voices has been reflected in a flourishing and diverse media. Youth movements across the country have empowered young women and men from diverse ethnic and religious communities. A generation of young people has grown up with hope for a better future, and the knowledge of free, individual choice, while also being deeply attached to Afghanistan's cultural and religious traditions.

    These significant advances in human rights have altered mindsets and changed realities. They will not easily be erased.

    They are also essential to Afghanistan's future trajectory. For the development and prosperity of any country to be sustainable, people need to live without fear, without discrimination, without repression and with full respect of their human rights.

    Moreover, human rights violations undermine the legitimacy of the perpetrators – both vis à vis the people, and also with respect to regional and international institutions and other States.

    I strongly urge the Taliban to adopt norms of responsive governance and human rights, and to work to re-establish social cohesion and reconciliation – including through respect for the rights of all who have suffered during the decades of conflict.

    A fundamental red line will be the Taliban's treatment of women and girls, and respect for their rights to liberty, freedom of movement, education, self expression and employment, guided by international human rights norms. In particular, ensuring access to quality secondary education for girls will be an essential indicator of commitment to human rights.

    Government must remain inclusive – with meaningful participation of women, and representation of Afghanistan's diverse communities – to help in beginning to build confidence, and ensure a future in which all have an equal stake.

    There should be genuine, inclusive dialogue, including women, and including members of Afghanistan's diverse ethnic and religious communities, in order to address the underlying problems that the country faces, the root causes of discrimination, and the enduring legacies of decades of conflict.

    There should be no reprisals and no sanctions against the thousands of human rights defenders who have contributed to their people's well-being and rights. The mandate, operations and independence of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission should be respected.

    I also urge open access for humanitarian assistance, and the protection of all humanitarian personnel.

    Madam President,

    I call on all States to create safe pathways for Afghan refugees and migrants, broaden asylum and resettlement programs and immediately halt the deportation of Afghans who seek protection. Neighbouring countries will need additional financial and logistical resources to assist refugees – and all States must be mindful of their obligation to give protection and assistance to those fleeing danger.

    I also ask States to use their influence with the Taliban to encourage respect for all human rights, for all. Islamic-majority countries in particular could share their successful experiences of implementing international human rights norms in their cultural and religious contexts.

    I urge this Council to take bold and vigorous action, commensurate with the gravity of this crisis, by establishing a dedicated mechanism to closely monitor the evolving human rights situation in Afghanistan, including – in particular – the Taliban's implementation of its promises, with a focus on prevention. 

    I further note that given the urgency of this situation, an update by my Office at the coming September session may be necessary. I am also willing to update the Council intersessionally, on an urgent basis, in the coming months.

    United and unequivocal action by Member States will be an important signal to the Taliban that a return to past practices will not find acceptance in the international community – neither now, nor in the future. The Afghan people have come too far for such an outcome to ever be tolerable.

    Thank you, Madam President.

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  • Pathfinder
    Rep. Carol Miller

    We just received this audio from an incredibly brave American in Kabul. She was attacked each time she tried to reach the airport. Despite the danger to herself, she wants us to share this. We must guarantee the safety of Americans and our allies before it is too late.

    11:55 AM · Aug 21, 2021·Twitter Media Studio


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  • Pathfinder
    Amidst Kabul airport blockage, WHO and UNICEF call for assistance to deliver critical health supplies to Afghanistan

    Joint statement by WHO Regional Director for Eastern and Mediterranean Region, Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, and UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia, George Laryea-Adjei

    KABUL/CAIRO/KATHMANDU,22 August 2021: “As humanitarian needs in Afghanistan increase, the abilities to respond to those needs are rapidly declining. WHO and UNICEF call for immediate and unimpeded access to deliver medicines and other lifesaving supplies to millions of people in need of aid, including 300 000 people displaced in the last two months alone.

    “While the main focus over the past days has been major air operations for the evacuation of internationals and vulnerable Afghans, the massive humanitarian needs facing the majority of the population should not - and cannot – be neglected. Even prior to the events of the past weeks, Afghanistan represented the world’s third largest humanitarian operation, with over 18 million people requiring assistance.

    “WHO and UNICEF are committed to stay and deliver for the people of Afghanistan.

    “However, with no commercial aircraft currently permitted to land in Kabul, we have no way to get supplies into the country and to those in need. Other humanitarian agencies are similarly constrained.

    “WHO and UNICEF call for the immediate establishment of a humanitarian airbridge for the sustained and unimpeded delivery of aid into Afghanistan. We are also closely following up with all UN and international partners to explore options for expediting aid shipments.

    “In the first few days of the recent hostilities, both WHO and UNICEF — like all other UN agencies — prioritized the safety and security of our staff. But our work continued even when the hostilities were at their worst. We remain committed to staying in Afghanistan and delivering, and we rapidly shifted gears to address the needs of millions of Afghans who remain in the country.

    “Conflict, displacement, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic are all contributing to a complex and desperate situation in Afghanistan. Humanitarian agencies need to be supported and facilitated to meet the enormous and growing needs in Afghanistan, and make sure that no one dies unnecessarily due to lack of access to aid.

    Notes to editors

    About WHO’s humanitarian work in Afghanistan

    In the past week, WHO distributed lifesaving supplies to partners and hospitals from its stocks in-country. But supplies are rapidly dwindling, and WHO currently only has enough to meet urgent needs for up to one and a half weeks. Most planes flying into the country to evacuate personnel have been arriving empty, missing crucial opportunities to bring in urgently needed health supplies and other humanitarian aid. More than 500 metric tones of WHO supplies, scheduled to be transported over three flights to Afghanistan this week and next week, remain in WHO’s logistics hub in Dubai’s International Humanitarian City. These include trauma medicines, essential medicines and medical supplies, pneumonia medicines, supplies for the management of severe acute malnutrition, and supplies for the management of chronic diseases. WHO operates through 8 offices in Afghanistan and works with local implementing partners to provide urgently needed health care for all. As the Health Cluster lead WHO also ensures that partners continue delivering a coordinated response in all corners of the country.

    About UNICEF’s humanitarian work in Afghanistan

    UNICEF has 13 offices in Afghanistan and a range of partners that support us in delivering lifesaving supplies to the most disadvantaged.

    To support the about 10 million children, and their families, affected by the humanitarian crisis, UNICEF is currently delivering life-saving services such as ready to use therapeutic food to nourish starving children and mobile health clinics to give urgent medical care. UNICEF is also delivering water to those most affected by the drought, including in camps for internally displaced people. Despite the ongoing humanitarian crisis, UNICEF is distributing hygiene kits and continuing vaccination for babies and young children. UNICEF is also expanding its humanitarian response in the country by prepositioning supplies. In the past week, in several of the new camps for internally displaced people in Kabul, UNICEF established child-friendly spaces, nutrition hubs, and vaccination sites.


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  • Shiloh

    How the Afghanistan crisis threatens global polio eradication
    by Cvbj
    16 minutes ago

    ...What can happen now in Afghanistan?

    Unfortunately, the polio virus may have found an unexpected ally.

    With the withdrawal of US troops and the fall of the Afghan regime, the Taliban forces have assumed control of the country.

    For the past three years, the Taliban have blocked house-to-house polio vaccination in areas that were under their rule, putting 3 million children out of the reach of the vaccination campaign and, therefore, exposing them to the disease and making it easier for the virus to continue in circulation.

    At the beginning of June 2021, five health workers carrying out a vaccination campaign against polio in the Afghan province of Nangarhar died during a series of targeted extremist attacks.

    This caused the activity that was intended to protect the virus from the virus to be suspended. more than 10 million children under five years old.

    Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov, the UN resident humanitarian coordinator in the country, said he was dismayed by the brutality of these murders and that senseless violence it must cease.

    Unfortunately, the future prospects for combating polio in Afghanistan are terrifying.

    Until now, 85% of all polio cases occurred in inaccessible areas due to Taliban control.

    Now that Taliban control will be total, what will happen?

    What’s more, the COVID-19 pandemic the situation worsens.

    The present is uncertain and the future threatening.

    Afghanistan and Pakistan share 2,670 kilometers of border and the virus does not need a visa to travel.

    There is a window of hope because the Taliban recently gave the green light to the GPEI to carry out vaccination in mosques in the provinces where house-to-house vaccinations were banned for fear that local people would pass on information that would help the United States to attack the Taliban regime.

    Let us hope that international mediation will make it easier for the Taliban leaders not to oppose vaccination campaigns, because depriving children of the guarantee of a healthy life is inhumane...

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  • sharon sanders
    Epic Fail.

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  • Pathfinder
    Afghanistan: Taliban carrying out door-to-door manhunt, report says

    Published 7 hours ago


    The hardline Islamist group has tried to reassure Afghans since seizing power in a lightning offensive, promising there would be "no revenge".

    But there are growing fears of a gap between what they say and what they do.

    The warning the group were targeting "collaborators" came in a confidential document by the RHIPTO Norwegian Center for Global Analyses, which provides intelligence to the UN.

    "There are a high number of individuals that are currently being targeted by the Taliban and the threat is crystal clear," Christian Nellemann, who heads the group behind the report, told the BBC.

    "It is in writing that, unless they give themselves in, the Taliban will arrest and prosecute, interrogate and punish family members on behalf of those individuals."

    He warned that anyone on the Taliban's blacklist was in severe danger, and that there could be mass executions.


    Atia Aawi
    A former US service-member told me that an interpreter he keeps in touch with went in hiding, so the Taliban killed his son instead.

    Date 19.08.2021

    Relative of DW journalist killed by the Taliban

    Journalists and their families are in grave danger in Afghanistan. The Taliban have no compunction about carrying out targeted killings as the case of a DW journalist shows.

    Taliban fighters hunting a DW journalist have shot dead one member of his family and seriously injured another. The Taliban were conducting a house-to-house search to try and find the journalist, who now works in Germany.

    Other relatives were able to escape at the last moment and are now on the run. DW Director General Peter Limbourg issued a strong condemnation and called on the German government to take action.

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  • Pathfinder
    Originally posted by sharon sanders View Post
    I am really having a hard time staying within our guidelines on this thread. There are pictures of at least one person dropping off a departing airplane. There is some news that Germany wants to get about 10k people out in the midst of this chaos. Not to mention the fate of people left behind.....

    I think we are witnessing a huge & preventable public health debacle developing. I am just sick about it.

    A 17-year-old Afghan soccer player died falling from a U.S. evacuation plane.

    By Farnaz Fassihi
    Published Aug. 19, 2021
    Updated Aug. 20, 2021, 4:10 a.m. ET

    Video taken on Monday showed at least two bodies dropping to the ground from an airplane shortly after it took off. The Pentagon confirmed that two people had died falling from the plane, and body parts were also discovered in the landing gear of the aircraft after it landed in Qatar.

    In a telephone interview on Thursday from Kabul, Aref Peyman, the head of media relations for the sports federation and for Afghanistan’s Olympic Committee, confirmed Zaki’s death.

    Mr. Peyman said Zaki had come from a low-income family in Kabul and had worked hard to achieve his dream of being on the national soccer team while also attending school.

    “He was kind and patient, but like so many of our young people he saw the arrival of the Taliban as the end of his dreams and sports opportunities,” Mr. Peyman said. “He had no hope and wanted a better life.”

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  • Mary Wilson
    U.S. won’t let Taliban access Afghanistan’s financial assets held in America


    Thomas Franck

    • The Taliban will be hard-pressed to tap Afghanistan’s financial assets after the U.S. froze the country’s reserves in Federal Reserve accounts.
    • A Biden administration official told CNBC that any central bank assets the Afghan government has in the United States will not be made available to the Taliban.
    • Ajmal Ahmady, Afghanistan’s central bank chief, who fled the country, wrote Wednesday that he received a phone call Friday that shipments of U.S. dollars would be halted.

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  • Pathfinder
    Security Alert: U.S. Embassy Kabul (August 18, 2021)

    Home | News & Events | Security Alert: U.S. Embassy Kabul (August 18, 2021)Location: Kabul

    U.S. government-provided flights are departing. U.S. citizens, LPRs, and their spouses and unmarried children (under age 21) should consider travelling to Hamid Karzai International Airport.   You should plan to enter the airport at Camp Sullivan. From the HKIA Airport South Traffic Circle, head east for 1km and turn right on to Camp Sullivan.   Please note that gates may change frequently and that we will provide updates as necessary.

    • For updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Please check your spam folder for messages.
    • For emergencies, call 1-888-407-4747 (U.S. Canada) or +1-202-501-4444 (overseas) or

    Eligibility Requirements:
    • U.S. Citizenship or proof of LPR status with documents: The U.S. Embassy will prioritize U.S. citizens and LPRs and their spouses and unmarried children (under age 21). All intending passengers should bring identity documentation to the best of their ability (U.S. passport, LPR card, even if expired).
    • U.S. Citizenship or proof of LPR status without documents: We will help those without U.S. documents as described above to the best of our ability.

    Please be advised that a significant number of individuals have registered and space on these flights is available on a first come, first serve basis. You may be required to wait at the airport for a significant amount of time until space is available.

    The security situation in Kabul continues to change quickly, including at the airport. U.S. citizens seeking assistance to depart the country should complete thisRepatriation Assistance Requestfor each traveler in their group. Spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens in Afghanistan who are awaiting immigrant visas should also complete this form if they wish to depart. Please do so as soon as possible. Please do so only once. You must complete this form even if you’ve previously submitted your information to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul by another means. This form is the only way to communicate interest in flight options. We will notify you directly by email based on your registration as soon as departure options become available.

    Do not call the U.S. Embassy in Kabul for details or updates about the flight. Do not travel to the airport until you have been informed by email that departure options exist. We will continue to provide periodic updates to this message.


    By U.S. Embassy in Kabul | 18 August, 2021 | Topics: Alert

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