Friday 20th August 2021
Afghanistan live ticker
+++ 05:48 report: 20 US diplomats warned of the Taliban as early as July +++
More than 20 US diplomats in Afghanistan are said to have sent an internal message to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in July warning of a possible fall in Kabul. As the “Wall Street Journal” reports, the confidential message was sent via a so-called dissident channel. According to the newspaper, the message was signed on July 13th and is said to have included recommendations to defuse the crisis and speed up the evacuation. According to State Department spokesman Ned Price, the diplomatic views exchanged over the channel with Blinken would feed into policy and planning.
+++ 05:22 Facebook wants to protect Afghan accounts +++
For security reasons, Facebook has temporarily removed the ability to view or search friend lists for user accounts in Afghanistan. As reported by the company’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, on Twitter, Facebook has also developed a “one-click tool” for users in Afghanistan, with which they can quickly block their accounts. The company also wants to protect Afghan Instagram accounts, said Gleicher.
+++ 04:58 NATO employees: A total of 18,000 people saved from Kabul +++
As a NATO official confirmed to the Reuters news agency, more than 18,000 refugees have been flown from the airport in Kabul since the Taliban came to power. According to the insider, many people continued to crowd in front of the airport trying desperately to flee.
+++ 04:18 poll: the end of the Afghanistan mission divides the Germans +++
According to a survey by Infratest dimap in Germany, opinions on the Bundeswehr’s mission in Afghanistan differ. In the “Deutschlandtrend” for the ARD “Morgenmagazin”, 41 percent of those questioned stated that the mission ended at the end of June was correct, but should have been continued. Ten percent stated that the deployment and withdrawal of the troops had been correct. 40 percent, in turn, were of the opinion that the deployment of German soldiers in the Hindu Kush had been a mistake from the start. The poll was carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, a few days after the militant Islamist Taliban came to power in Afghanistan. Since Monday, the Bundeswehr has been taking German citizens, Afghan local staff and other endangered people to safety via an airlift from Kabul.
+++ 03:22 Laschet pleads for talks with the Taliban +++
Union Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet advocates diplomatic talks with the Taliban to help vulnerable people in Afghanistan. “The art of good foreign policy consists precisely in finding solutions with those states whose goals and human image our society rightly rejects,” said Laschet of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”. “Refusing to enter into dialogue with the Taliban would not help the people who want to get out of Afghanistan,” said CDU leader Laschet. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas sent the Afghanistan expert Markus Potzel to Doha in the Gulf emirate of Qatar to talk to negotiators of the militant-Islamist Taliban about the departure of Afghan local forces. The diplomat, who was originally to be sent as the new ambassador to Afghanistan in August, has been holding talks with representatives of the Taliban since Wednesday. “He will also continue his talks with international partners,” declared the Foreign Office.
+++ 02:26 Overturned by a US machine: Afghan youth footballer dies while escaping +++
According to a media report, a youth player from the Afghan national football team was killed in a fall from a US evacuation plane at Kabul airport. The Afghan news agency Ariana reports that footballer Saki Anwari died in the incident on Monday. He fell from a US Air Force Boeing C-17. His death had been confirmed by the sports authorities. After the Taliban came to power on Sunday, the situation at Kabul airport was chaotic on Monday. Afghans stormed the tarmac and tried to get on planes, some people clinging to starting machines.
+++ 01:26 Another 184 people saved: next Bundeswehr rescue machine landed +++
The Bundeswehr has flown more people out of Kabul. Shortly before after midnight, another A400M with more than 180 people on board landed at the airport in the Uzbek capital Tashkent, the Bundeswehr said on Twitter. In addition, another A400M took off from Kabul at 12:16 a.m. to fly out people to be protected.
+++ 00:43 Federal government promises 100 million euros for Afghan refugees +++
The federal government is providing emergency aid amounting to 100 million euros for refugees from Afghanistan. “The money is to be used to support international aid organizations that support people in neighboring countries,” said the Foreign Office. After the radical Islamic Taliban came to power, tens of thousands of people are currently trying to flee Afghanistan. Since the Islamists marched into Kabul, western states have been working flat out to get their citizens as well as Afghan local staff and activists to safety.
+++ 00:07 British want to complete evacuation flights on Tuesday +++
The last British evacuation flight is expected to leave Kabul in five days. As the newspaper “The Times” reports, the British government wants to accelerate the timetable for the withdrawal. According to the newspaper, ministers were told earlier this week that the last evacuation flight would take off on Tuesday, August 24, before the planned withdrawal of American forces on August 31.
You can read all previous developments here.
Background: After the announced US military withdrawal, the security situation in Afghanistan changed dramatically within a few weeks. Foreign troops leave the country. Western states are trying to evacuate their diplomatic missions. Tens of thousands of Afghans who have worked as translators or simple local staff for the military and aid or development organizations fear for their lives. The federal government has announced a large-scale rescue mission that is due to start on August 16.