French citizens given last chance to leave Afghanistan today

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French citizens now have one last chance to leave Afghanistan via official transport. On Tuesday, the French embassy in Kabul urged all its citizens to leave Afghanistan immediately due to the growing security risks.

The French Embassy in Kabul has published a message urging “the whole of the French community” in Afghanistan to leave, evoking “the evolution of the security situation in the country” and the “short-term prospects” for Afghanistan. He didn’t elaborate.

The message says France can no longer guarantee a safe evacuation after the government-chartered flight to Paris on Saturday. The special flight will depart at 8:05 am local Kabul time and arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport at 1:10 pm French time.

The announcement comes as the United States ends its 20-year war in Afghanistan. Other NATO troops having already left.

Taliban fighters take control of vast swathes of the country, surging from district to district.

The outgoing US commander has warned that the increase in violence seriously undermines Afghanistan’s chances of finding a peaceful end to decades of war.

Last week, China sent a flight to bring back 210 of its Afghan nationals.

Women’s rights

Meanwhile, women’s rights advocates and religious leaders are calling for a United Nations peacekeeping force for Afghanistan to protect hard-won gains for women over the past two decades as forces Americans and NATO complete their withdrawal from the war-torn country and a Taliban offensive gains control over more territory.

Under the Taliban, women were not allowed to go to school, work outside the home, or leave their homes without a male escort. And although they still face many challenges in the country’s male-dominated society, Afghan women increasingly hold positions of power in many areas. Many now fear the departure of international troops and a takeover by the Taliban could take away their gains.

In a May 14 letter obtained by The Associated Press, 140 civil society and faith leaders from the United States, Afghanistan and other countries “dedicated to education and women’s rights in Afghanistan ”asked US President Joe Biden to call for a UN peacekeeping force. “to ensure that the cost of the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan is not paid in the lives of schoolgirls.”

The big game

It is far from clear who will fill the void left by the United States when it left on September 11. Pakistan, known to be a supporter of the Taliban, fears India will try to gain a foothold in Afghanistan, while China – which had previously expressed concerns over the US withdrawal – is keen to strengthen its position in the country.

Pakistan is host to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the most important step of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative and chaos in Afghanistan risk harming China’s investment in the region.

from China World time, a propaganda organ close to the Communist Party, posted on July 15 that Beijing is “ready to facilitate” talks between the government in Kabul and the Taliban. The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported that in return, a Taliban spokesperson called China a “welcome friend” for the “reconstruction” of Afghanistan.

But it is far from certain that China will succeed: Afghanistan, subject of what has been called “the great game” of strategic control of the region, has been dubbed the “graveyard of empires”. The ancient Greeks, Mongols, Mughals, British, Soviet Union and United States came, occupied and left after losing countless battles and suffering heavy casualties.

(with agencies)