365 days have passed since the return of the Islamic Emirate and the life of the citizens has changed drastically. The women who lost rights and freedoms for two decades paid the highest price. Meanwhile, the economy is collapsing and groceries are becoming increasingly difficult to find
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A year has passed since the fall of Kabul: on August 15, 2021, after a months-long offensive during the withdrawal of NATO contingents in the country, the Taliban invaded the capital of Afghanistan and restored the Islamic Emirate. Thus, nearly twenty years after the start of the 9/11 war, the “graveyard of empires” has returned to the control of the same group that ruled the country from 1996-2001. And the lives of over 40 million people Afghans have changed drastically after more than 15 years of Republican rule (THE SPECIAL OF SKY TG24 – THE SKY PROGRAMMING).
The return of the emirate and international isolation
Kabul, the apparent calm of a city on its knees
The Taliban had already ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001: they came to power after the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the country – which took place in 1989 – and took advantage of the political instability and the civil war that followed. They imposed an extremist version of Islamic law, but it was short-lived: in 2001, after the attack on the Twin Towers and the war in Afghanistan, the emirate was replaced by a republic. However, the withdrawal of the NATO contingent, which took place almost twenty years after the invasion, allowed the Taliban to return to power. And the effects are staggering: the democracy under whose banner a whole generation of Afghans grew up is over. In its place, the Islamic Emirate was reborn. An event that not only set history back twenty years, but turned Afghanistan into a pariah state. In fact, no other country recognizes the Kabul government, while the ties to old allies have been exposed by the Americans’ assassination of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri in Kabul
The rights denied to women
Kabul, women’s rights today one year after the return of the Taliban
And the highest price has had to be paid by women who have lost almost all of the civil rights they had won over the past two decades: girls over the age of 12 cannot go to school, while the strict restrictions on gender segregation at universities have greatly reduced their chances for many young women, a to complete a meaningful university education. Many jobs outside of healthcare and education are banned, must cover their face in public, and must be accompanied by a male guardian to travel. Last September, the Taliban government abolished the Ministry of Women and replaced it with the Ministry of Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice. To narrate this image, Gianluca Ales spoke to some of them, you can see in the report below.
A generation on the run
Who they are, their history and what the Taliban leaders want
The loss of democratically guaranteed civil rights affects not only women, but the entire Afghan population. And among educated young people who grew up in a country radically different from today, there are many who have chosen to flee Afghanistan. Not only through the US airlift, which enabled the evacuation from Kabul by the end of August last year, but by any means necessary to leave the country. Desperation also triggered by the Taliban’s decision to attack and kill media, civil society and government professionals during the years of guerrilla warfare. And although the feared “witch hunt” in Kabul did not take place, many people who worked for the occupying forces and were unable to leave Afghanistan paid the price for their work with their lives.
Carola Dinisio spoke to three Afghans who managed to flee to Italy in the report, which you can see below.
Chiara Piotto instead interviewed some people who fled to France from Afghanistan: you can hear their words in the report below.
The economic and humanitarian crisis
Kabul, 4 years without rain: Afghanistan overwhelmed by the climate crisis
But not only the loss of civil rights is plaguing Afghanistan: the Taliban’s return to power has also brought with it a very severe economic crisis. The country’s gross domestic product collapsed by at least a third after the international lockdown on trade. Western aid to the former regime eventually ran out as the Taliban struggled to transform itself from an armed rebel force into an efficient government. “They are losing internal support and they are aware of it,” an Afghan analyst told the Guardian. And the economic crisis is joined by a humanitarian one: millions of citizens are struggling with food shortages, fueled by the loss of purchasing power, lack of money and rising food prices. And the loss of press freedom – with many media outlets shut down and journalists leaving the country – has also deprived Afghans of their right to information.
A hungry country
Afghanistan, 1 million children work for 50 cents a day
Of the crises mentioned above, however, the population is hit hardest by the lack of food. Since the Taliban took power, the price of wheat has risen by almost 50%. Afghanistan is struggling with a gigantic food crisis: 23 million people have had problems finding food in recent months, including 14 million children. And to make an already extreme scenario even more difficult, there’s the drought: it’s the worst the country has ever hit, a climate crisis making the food crisis even worse.
Gianluca Ales shared what is happening in Afghanistan in the report you can see below.
Afghanistan, the US withdrawal after twenty years of war. THE STAGE
A few days after the anniversary of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, the last US troops left the country on August 30, 2021 after the Doha Agreement and the takeover by the Taliban. Over two decades, the conflict claimed the lives of 2,500 US service members, passed through the hands of four presidents – George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden – and was marked by events of global importance, such as the assassination of Osama bin Load
With the latest flights, as many people as possible should be evacuated and the Departure of the last US Marinesthe war in Afghanistan started after that attacks of September 11, 2001 it can actually be said that it’s over. In twenty years it cost her her life 2,500 military Americans and according to estimates by the United Nations Assistance Mission in the country (Unama), at least 35,000 civilians. here you are the main stages of a conflict that has lasted for two decades
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, THE ATTACK ON THE TWIN TOWERS – By hijacking four planes, 19 al-Qaeda men bring terror to US soil. Two planes crash into the Twin Towers in New York, one into the Pentagon headquarters in Washington, and one into a field in Pennsylvania. The total number of victims is 2,996 people
7 OCTOBER 2001 THE WAR BEGINS – Operation Enduring Freedom begins with the first raids on Afghanistan after US President George W. Bush authorizes the use of force against those responsible for the attacks. At the end of December, after the Taliban withdrew, Kabul fell and Osama bin Laden fled the country. The interim government led by Hamid Karzai is born