What We Know: Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan

Here are the latest developments following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan as of August 24.* U.N. rights chief Michelle Bachelet said her office has received “credible reports of serious violations of international humanitarian law, and human rights abuses, taking place in many areas under effective Taliban control.”  She called for the creation of a mechanism to monitor the Taliban’s pledges to respect and protect human rights.* The White House reported Tuesday morning that 21,600 people had been evacuated in a 24-hour period on U.S. military and coalition flights.* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said every humanitarian and diplomatic tool will be used to “safeguard human rights and the gains made in Afghanistan over the last two decades,” and that the Taliban will be judged on its actions.* Australia reported it evacuated more than 1,600 people from Kabul since last Wednesday.* U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said United States is “laser-focused” on evacuation efforts. “We are extremely grateful to our men and women in uniform and to embassy staff who are on the ground, as we speak, making this historic airlift happen in an incredibly difficult and dangerous environment,” she said Tuesday.* The White House said Monday it is in daily contact with the Taliban “through political and security channels” as the race continues to complete the withdrawal from Afghanistan by President Joe Biden’s August 31 deadline.* In an interview with Britain’s Sky News, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen called the August 31 deadline a “red line” and said, “if they extend it, that means they are extending occupation.”

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