Taliban prepare to celebrate anniversary of US withdrawal
Kabul, Aug 30 (EFE).- The Taliban government on Tuesday declared Aug.31 as a national day in Afghanistan, as part of the celebrations marking the first anniversary of the withdrawal of US troops and the end of two decades of foreign invasion.
Aug.31, 2021 was the day when the US-led NATO forces were “completely defeated in Afghanistan” marking the victory of Islamic Emirate – the name used by the Taliban for themselves – and the nation of Afghanistan, according to a statement by the Ministry of Work and Social Affairs.
Hence, this day will be a public holiday across the country, the ministry said.
Images posted on social media show Taliban security forces preparing for the celebrations in different provinces of Afghanistan.
The Islamist government also held celebrations on Aug.15, the date on which a year ago its fighters entered Kabul city to take control of the country following the fall of the US-backed government led by Ashraf Ghani.
The US forces left Afghanistan on the night between Aug.30 and 31, just ahead of the deadline agreed with the Taliban for their complete withdrawal from the country.
The US had agreed to withdraw its forces in the historic Doha agreement signed in February 2020, on the condition, among other things, that the Taliban prevent Afghanistan from becoming a terrorist sanctuary, unlike during its previous regime between 1996 and 2001.
The chaotic exit that was completed in weeks left the Afghan forces without their fundamental support, leaving it weakened before the Taliban, as province by province fell to the Islamists at an alarming pace.
When the fundamentalists seized power, the Americans were still trying to evacuate Afghan citizens and workers who worked for them, leading a desperate movement of people trying to flee, with crowds of people camped outside the airport for days.
The last US military aircraft took off from Kabul airport on teh final minute before midnight on Aug.30 with the last group of passengers, including the then-acting US Ambassador Ross Wilson, concluding 20 years military presence of US and NATO troops in the country. EFE