Conflicts & War

Protest held in Kabul urging US to unfreeze Afghan assets

Kabul, Dec 21 (EFE).- Hundreds of Afghans on Tuesday protested in Kabul demanding that the United States unfreeze the bank assets of the country, amid an ongoing humanitarian and economic crisis that has hit the country since the Taliban came to power in August.

“Hundreds of citizens joined this protest and came out of their houses in this cold weather only because of their anger, and fear of the (impending) catastrophe,” one of the protesters, Yusuf Hotak, told EFE.

“There is no other choice for us, the people are depressed due to the ongoing situation and the lack of the money in markets. The people will sooner or later come out on the streets, which will be a threat to Taliban and the international community as well,” he added.

Unlike other recent protests which were suppressed by force by the Islamist group, Tuesday’s demonstration was backed by several Taliban officials on social media, such as the director of the National Olympic Committee Mohammad Mutmaeen, who retweeted videos of the event.

During the two-hour long march, protesters held placards and shouted slogans such as “unfreeze Afghan bank assets,” “let us eat,” “ease economic restrictions,” and “don’t destroy our economy.”

“People joined the protest to raise their voice due to the ongoing poverty,” said another protester Khalid, adding that though some of the demonstrators were not very clear about the purpose of the stir, they had joined because of having lost their jobs and income sources.

“People will join any group calling for an improvement in the economic situation,” the burger salesman told EFE.

Afghanistan has descended into a severe economic and humanitarian crisis since the Taliban seized Kabul on Aug. 15.

Since then, the lack of support and recognition by the international community and sanctions imposed by the US and other world bodies to prevent the fundamentalists from accessing the global financial system have isolated the Asian nation.

The falling value of the Afghan currency against the dollar and lack of fluidity in the Afghan financial system have triggered fears of starvation and chaos amid the locals as the winter intensifies. EFE


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