Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan January 2022-

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Afghan women deplore Taliban’s new order to cover faces in public
In their latest decree, the Taliban say it is ‘required for all respectable Afghan women to wear a hijab’.
(Al Jazeera) The Taliban’s recently reinstated Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice announced on Saturday that it is “required for all respectable Afghan women to wear a hijab”, or headscarf.
The ministry, in a statement, identified the chadori (the blue-coloured Afghan burqa or full-body veil) as the “best hijab” of choice.
While the Taliban have always imposed restrictions to govern the bodies of Afghan women, the decree is the first for this regime where criminal punishment is assigned for violation of the dress code for women.

29 April
Taliban supreme leader urges world to recognise ‘Islamic Emirate’
Haibatullah Akhunzada calls on the international community to recognise the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan.
The Taliban-led government is yet to be recognised by any country since it returned to power last August, 20 years after it was toppled in a US-led invasion

19 April
World Bank to push ahead with some Afghan projects, maintain pause on education support -sources
(Reuters) – The World Bank has resumed work on three projects in Afghanistan focused on health, agriculture and livelihoods, but will maintain a hold on some $150 million for education projects, two sources familiar with the decision said Tuesday.
Group of Seven partners and other major donors to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) will meet to discuss the country’s mounting economic and food security problems on Friday during the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the U.S. Treasury announced on Monday.
Some multilateral organizations, including the IMF, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Islamic Development Bank, will also take part, one of the sources said.

12 April
The Taliban Promised Them Amnesty. Then They Executed Them.
An Opinion Video investigation reveals the Taliban have been on a campaign of revenge killings against former U.S. allies
(NYT) When the Taliban swept into Kabul last year and reasserted control over Afghanistan, they suggested that their rule would be kinder, less extreme and more forgiving than it had been the last time they were in power.
But the video … reveals that nearly 500 former government officials and members of the Afghan security forces were killed or forcibly disappeared during the Taliban’s first six months in power.

3 April
Taliban Outlaw Opium Poppy Cultivation in Afghanistan
The move will have far-reaching consequences for the many farmers who turned to the illicit crop as a brutal drought and economic crisis have gripped the country.
“All compatriots are informed from the date of the issuance of this decree, poppy cultivation is absolutely prohibited in the whole country and no one can try to cultivate the plant,” said the decree, issued by the Taliban’s leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada. “If someone violates this, his cultivation will be destroyed and the violator will be dealt with according to Islamic Law.”
The Taliban’s decision to ban opium poppy in Afghanistan, which accounts for about 80 percent of the world’s supply of opium, comes as the group is under increasing international pressure after a series of decrees targeting women, including their ability to attend secondary school.

25 March
Taliban blocks dozens of women from taking flights out of Afghanistan
Women, including some bound for Canada, denied boarding because they were travelling without male guardians
Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers refused to allow dozens of women to board several flights, including some bound for Canada, because they were travelling without male guardians, two Afghan airline officials said Saturday.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions from the Taliban, said dozens of women who arrived at Kabul’s international airport Friday to board domestic and international flights were told they couldn’t do so without a male guardian.
Some of the women were dual nationals returning to their homes overseas, including some from Canada, according to one of the officials. Women were denied boarding on flights to Islamabad, Dubai and Turkey on Kam Air and the state-owned Ariana Airline, said the officials.
Taliban U-turn over Afghan girls’ education reveals deep leadership divisions
A lack of teachers and school uniform issues blamed for school closures but confusion is a sign of differences in vision for Afghanistan’s future
(The Guardian) Earlier this week, girls across Afghanistan arrived for lessons on the day secondary schools were due to open for them for the first time since the Taliban seized power. They were told to go home, and informed schools would remain shut indefinitely.
As international outrage grew at the U-turn, the official Taliban response was confused and contradictory. The group blamed a lack of teachers on the closures and said they first needed to create an appropriate environment for girls to study, and decide on appropriate uniforms.
A statement issued by the Taliban’s education ministry then said school openings would be postponed “until further notice when a comprehensive plan, in accordance with Sharia and Afghan culture, is developed”.
Experts say that the decision to close education to girls over 11 is nothing to do with uniforms. Instead, it is a sign of deep divisions within the group about the future direction of rule in Afghanistan.

1 February
Nonstate threats in the Taliban’s Afghanistan
(Brookings) While Afghanistan’s new Taliban leadership has been preoccupied with the near-term challenges of forming a government, managing internal tensions, and pursuing foreign recognition and funding to stave off an economic collapse, nonstate armed actors in Afghanistan have begun to assess the opportunities and limitations that come with a return to Taliban rule. For them, the new environment is likely to be favorable. These groups, including designated terrorist organizations, will find themselves less vulnerable to monitoring and targeting by the United States and its coalition partners; will be able to take advantage of a huge pool of experienced armed labor drawn from former Taliban, Afghan security forces, and other militant ranks; and will have increased space to forge new collaborations and plan operations in the region and further afield.
The first risk is that the Islamic State Khorasan (ISK), which has had an openly adversarial relationship with the Taliban, takes advantage of the new government’s weakness and preoccupations to bolster its own recruiting, fundraising, and territorial control within Afghanistan; and that its pressure on the government makes the Taliban leadership less likely to offer concessions to domestic or foreign critics.
The second risk is that a Haqqani-dominated Taliban government in Kabul, with few reputational incentives to constrain the activities of al-Qaida or Pakistan-aligned militant organizations such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), will allow these groups increased freedom to use Afghanistan for logistics, recruiting, and planning, and to reduce their dependencies on Pakistan.
The third risk is that the increasingly permissive and opaque environment in Afghanistan, combined with the large pool of unemployed armed labor, will lead to novel operational partnerships among nonstate armed actors that could make it hard to identify new threats to the U.S. and its partners.
The risks, in other words, are not simply anchored in what the counterterrorism community can discern about today’s Taliban-led Afghanistan, but about what it cannot see or predict. Afghanistan is a fecund environment for new militant partnerships.

27 January
UN chief pleads for nations to pave way for humanitarian aid to reach Afghanistan
Afghanistan is “hanging by a thread,” United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the UN Security Council on Wednesday, calling for countries to authorize all transactions needed to carry out humanitarian activities in the Taliban-ruled state.
He also pushed for a suspension of any rules or conditions constricting “lifesaving” aid operations as millions in the country suffer extreme hunger, education and social services are on the brink of collapse, and a lack of liquidity limits the capacity of the United Nations and aid groups to reach people in need.
“We need to give financial institutions and commercial partners legal assurance that they can work with humanitarian operators without fear of breaching sanctions,” said Guterres, noting that the 15-member council last month adopted a humanitarian exemption to UN sanctions tied to Afghanistan.
Some $9.5 billion US in Afghan central bank reserves remain blocked abroad and international development support has dried up since the Taliban seized power in August. Donors seek to use the money as leverage over the Taliban on issues including human rights.
In December, donors to a frozen World Bank-administered Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund agreed to transfer $280 million US to the World Food Program and UN children’s agency UNICEF to support nutrition and health in Afghanistan. Guterres said the remaining $1.2 billion US in the fund needed “to be freed up urgently to help Afghanistan’s people survive the winter.”

26 January
In Afghanistan, Taliban diktat sparks debate about women’s attire
Some Afghan women have protested the imposition of a dress code while others say the Taliban should focus on more pressing issues.
(Al Jazeera) The Afghan Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice plastered posters across Kabul’s cafés and shops earlier this month to encourage the wearing of the burqa, a full-body veil that also covers the face. It did not issue an official directive.

12 January
Afghan women face hardship as Taliban struggles to revive economy
Several Afghan women Al Jazeera spoke to say they have struggled to put food on the table as Taliban fails to revive the economy.

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