“We are simply tired of war” – On the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban took power

Only last week, the German government had decided to stop deportations to the country – this turns out to be too late! Because yesterday the Taliban took over the government in Kabul – a fundamentalist dictatorship is threatening, which is already claiming its first victims. People fleeing in panic must be evacuated as quickly as possible, as this is starting with the local forces, and Saxony must create a right of abode for rejected Afghans.

On August 15, the Taliban officially took power in Kabul. Politicians of the German government seem surprised and promise quick help. Since the last election, which ended in chaos as two candidates declared themselves winners, the Afghan government has lost more and more political influence and territory to the Taliban. In the first half of 2021 alone, there were over 5,000 civilian casualties. Activists and NGOs warned for months against deporting to the country and demanded a quick evacuation of the local forces – only the will was missing.

Four days ago, Herat, the hometown of author and engineer Ali Ahmad Wali Zada, was also affected. He himself was severely injured by the war and has been living in Chemnitz for two years. “My father refused to leave the country for decades. But in recent days, even he has changed his mind. There is a threat of a new dark reign of terror like before 2001,” reports Wali Zada, whose family is currently hiding in the house for fear of persecution or attacks.

In Herat, girls and women are already forbidden to attend school, university or work. Billboards or shop windows depicting women are painted over. Wali Zada: “The Taliban have announced that this will remain the case until new announcements come from Quetta[1]. It will be a bad time for women in particular, because the Taliban’s ideology is unchanged, only their political and military tactics are a bit more sophisticated.”

Foto: Mohammad Rahmani

After 20 years of war in the country, the balance sheet is tragic. The democratic freedoms achieved individually, have been destroyed with the Taliban takeover. The frantic withdrawal of both Afghan and international troops left state-of-the-art military equipment on the ground, which the Taliban are now using: “We are simply tired of the war. It’s been 20 years of military action, but all those people have died for nothing. The West, unfortunately, often promoted corrupt elites with little support from the population,” Wali Zada elaborates. Civilian reconstruction of the country was always subordinated to military and geopolitical goals. Thus, a consolidated democracy could not emerge and the plan of peace in the country failed completely.

Fearing the dictatorship of religious fanatics, people are now fleeing in panic. At Kabul airport, thousands of people are crowding to leave on military planes. “In their desperation, three people also held onto the wings of a plane today, just before it took off. The people could not hold on, fell to the ground and died,” this example is emblematic of the endless desperation of many Afghans* who would rather risk death than have to live under the Taliban.

Especially local forces who cooperated with the foreign troops or activists who worked for women’s rights or in the media sector are threatened with being killed by the Taliban. This catastrophic situation makes it all the more urgent to evacuate as many people as possible: “If even one person is rescued, they can make a big difference. With the appropriate education, every single person can work on a better future for Afghanistan – but at the moment that is only possible in exile.”


Therefore, we call on the Saxon state government to:

– to quickly create by decree a secure perspective of staying for protection seekers from Afghanistan whose asylum application has been rejected

– to advocate at the federal and EU level for a humanitarian admission program that takes in Afghans seeking protection from the camps at the EU’s external borders.

– Advocate at the federal and EU level for the immediate establishment of an airlift to safely evacuate protection-seekers from Afghanistan.

Note: Current donation options include the Afghan Women’s Association or the Kabul Airlift.

[1] City in southwestern Pakistan, in the province of Baluchistan, which currently serves as a control center for the Taliban.

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