Daily Evacuation Brief | January 16, 2023
LAST 24 HOURS
“KILLER COLD” RESULTS IN THE DEATH OF PEOPLE AND LIVESTOCK IN THE COUNTRY – A cold front has killed people in several Provinces and has decimated herds of livestock. Rural areas were said to have been experiencing the highest rates of mortality and internally displaced persons, many of whom lack access to adequate shelter are among those who died from exposure. Exacerbating the issue, electricity supplies from Uzbekistan have been halted and residents in cities and towns are only able to heat their homes for a few hours each night. While the Taliban claim the power shortages are due to ‘technical problems’, sources in the Palace have said it may have been caused by missed payments to Uzbekistan. Those who raise livestock in Badghis say they have lost approximately 10% of their herds over the past two days and fear more could die before the cold spell lifts.
FORMER MP SHOT AND KILLED AT HER HOME IN KABUL – Mursal Nabizada, an MP from the former regime and one of the many elected officials who remained in Afghanistan, was killed by unidentified gunmen in her home late on Saturday night. A bodyguard was also killed during the incident and a brother was wounded. An unconfirmed report stated that Nabizada had been propositioned for marriage by an unidentified senior Taliban intelligence officer on 3 separate occasions and she had repeatedly refused his advances. Police say an investigation is underway.
UN CRITICIZES CENTRAL BANK FOR MISLEADING STATEMENTS ABOUT CASH ASSISTANCE PROGRAM – The Afghanistan Central Bank released statements on social media that suggested it had directly received an aid package valued at $40 million US dollars. The statements seemed to suggest the funds were deposited for use of the government. The posts elicited a strong response from UNAMA officials, clarifying the funds were not deposited in governmental accounts at the Central Bank and that funds were not provided to the Taliban for use in their operational budget. Some analysts believe the statement from UNAMA was directed both at the Taliban and to reassure some donor states who have been critical of the cash infusions.
LEAKED MINISTRY OF DEFENSE DOCUMENT CLAIMS THAT ISIS-K IS USING A CAMP IN PAKISTAN TO TRAIN RECRUITS – The document, provided by a source in the Ministry of Defense, says that ISIS-K is utilizing a training camp in the Tirah Valley of Khyber, Pakistan to train approximately 7,000 recruits. Apparently, a redacted version of the document was submitted to Pakistan’s Ambassador in Kabul. Another source thought the document was not based on fact but was meant to blunt criticisms from the government of Pakistan about possible TTP strongholds in Afghanistan.
SOME PASSPORT OFFICES SAID TO BE REOPENING – Some of the Provincial Passport offices have posted notices on social media saying they are reopening. We have yet to confirm the accuracy of these reports. The office in Nangarhar made an announcement on social media stating that “Citizens who have paid the fee to the bank before 23 October 2022…are informed to come to the Nangarhar police headquarters…”. We are attempting to determine if the Police Headquarters is officially involved in the process now and whether the offers are real.
DISTURBING RUMORS FROM KHOST PROVINCE THAT GIRLS IN GRADES 1-6 WILL NO LONGER BE ALLOWED TO ATTEND SCHOOL – A video circulating on social media, purportedly from a school in Khost Province shows young female students crying and screaming in a courtyard of the school while Taliban officials try to talk to them. According to the eyewitness who posted the video, the girls were told they could no longer attend school. There are reports the Mullah who administers the school was arrested and led away after he protested the closure. We do not know if this information is accurate and whether it would be a local/provincial/national policy. We assess that if the policy is a national one, there will be large-scale protests and demonstrations. In addition, such a move would likely make the Taliban a ‘pariah-state’ that would only be able to deal with other shunned nations such as Iran and Russia.
NEXT 24 HOURS
THE COLD FRONT IN AFGHANISTAN EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR ANOTHER 48HRS – Dangerous temperatures are expected to continue in the country. Cold injuries and/or death by exposure are a real risk and travel is strongly discouraged.
CENTRAL BANK TO AUCTION $14 MILLION DOLLAR TODAY – Concerns over the weakening Afghani against the dollar may be prompting more public auctions over the coming weeks.
SAVE THE CHILDREN PROGRAMS MAY BE SHUT DOWN AGAIN – While the well-respected NGO announced the limited reopening of their programs with female staff in select provinces, we do not anticipate they will remain open for long. A source in Kandahar claimed the supreme leader flew into a rage after hearing the announcement. As was witnessed when a few Provinces reopened schooling for girls, the Taliban sent detachments to rapidly close them down. We suspect this will happen in this case. We hope we are wrong.
The UK is expected to expel Iranian diplomats over the execution of one of its citizens.
Iran raised oil export prices for shipments to Syria and demanded payments be made in advance. Syria is the second largest importer of Iranian oil and the reason for the new prices/procedures is not known.
Britain arrested a UK citizen over terrorism charges for an incident at Heathrow Airport where trace uranium had been detected. British authorities said the package in question had originated in Pakistan and was intended for an Iranian company in Britain.
A nationwide anti-polio campaign has begun and will run until 19 or 20 January.
Several leaders of the former Prime Minister’s party (PTI) were arrested in Karachi for allegedly attempting to interfere in the polling on Sunday. PTI leaders say the arrests were politically motivated.
Afghanistan: The Taliban's punishment of women is an act of desperation
By Syed Irfan Ashraf - Middle East Eye
The Taliban is responding to growing fractures in its ranks and the rising threat of IS by appeasing extremists. This gives the international community an opening to undermine it.
Gunmen shoot dead 'fearless' Afghan woman ex-lawmaker
"Nabizada, along with one of her bodyguards, was shot dead at her house," Kabul police spokesman…
Truckers complain about Taliban ‘monopoly’ at Torkham border
By AMU TV
According to the ACCI, the Taliban has “monopolized” the transportation process of commercial goods and raised taxes, resulting in a build-up of containers at the Nangarhar…
Cash Aid Packages Effective for Afghan Currency’s Stability: Union
By Bibi Amina Hakimi - TOLO News
“There is no job or business. We have no idea what to do. And we have no idea how to afford house rent or electricity and water nbills,” said Mehrabuddin, a resident of…
Save the Children resumes some activities with female staff in Afghanistan
By Save the Children
Three weeks since the Taliban announced that Afghan women were banned from working for any non-government organisations (NGOs), Save the Children said it was restarting some of its…
Uzbekistan stops power supply to Afghanistan, negotiations continue regarding restoration
Electricity from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan has been disconnected due to technical issues, the country’s power distributor, Da Afghanistan Bereshna Sherkat announced on…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
UN slams Afghanistan central bank for ‘misleading’ statements
By News AM
“None of the cash brought is deposited in the Central Bank of Afghanistan nor provided to the Taliban de facto authorities by the UN," the world body said in a…
Call for Islamic unity against Taliban’s banning of women’s HE
By Shadi Khan Saif - University World News
Hiding her tears, Fatima took heavy-hearted steps back home from her medical college in Kabul for an ‘indefinite’ period, as Afghanistan’s Taliban dealt a further blow to…
THE DAILY WTF
Time to unite for country’s development: IEA officials
By Ahmad Shah Erfanyar - Pajhwok Afghan News
“Alhamdolillah — With the grace of Allah we have no incident of military conflict in any part of the country in the past 16 months, but cowardly acts of the enemy like…
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 90.03 AFN (as of 16 JAN 2023)