Daily Evacuation Brief | June 16, 2023
LAST 24 HOURS
RUSSIA WARNS CITIZENS NOT TO TRAVEL TO AFGHANISTAN – Zamir Kabulov, the Russian Special Representative for Afghanistan warned all Russian citizens from making travel plans to Afghanistan. Kabulov said the situation in the country is extremely dangerous and the threat of terrorist attacks is real. The warning may be related to recent Russian accusations that ISIS is recruiting heavily in the country and its ability to project attacks into neighboring countries is growing.
INTERNATIONAL OUTCRY AND RAGE OVER AFGHAN REFUGEE TREATMENT AT IRANIAN/TURKISH BORDER – Since the news has come out about the involvement of criminal gangs along the Turkish and Iranian borders with regard to the kidnapping and ransom of Afghan refugees, several nations have demanded that Ankara and Tehran take action. A particularly disturbing video distributed by the BBC shows several Afghan Refugees who appear to be chained at the neck and who are waiting to be ransomed to their families. The accompanying interview describes torture, beatings, and mistreatment by these gangs. Some states in the European Union are calling for a joint meeting to discuss how they can help Turkey to deal with the problem.
US OFFICIALS POUR COLD WATER ON RECENT UN REPORT THAT CLAIMS TERRORISM IS ON THE RISE UNDER THE TALIBAN – Several anonymous US officials told Voice of America reporters that the report is not in line with US intelligence and analysis estimates of the situation in Afghanistan. The UN report said that al Qaeda had established several training bases in four Provinces and estimated they housed approximately 400 terrorists. US officials said that no such bases exist and that al Qaeda was fragmented and dispersed. It is not clear how much access the US intelligence community retains in Afghanistan after it removed many of its primary sources. It is also unclear how much priority Afghanistan has received from the intelligence community after the War in Ukraine broke out.
AFGHANISTAN’S DISABLED AND MARTYRED MAY SOON START RECEIVING BENEFITS AGAIN – After a prolonged hiatus that left many of the most vulnerable people in Afghanistan without funds to pay for food or rent, the Ministry of Martyrs and Disabled Affairs says it is ready to start rolling out the biometrics required for registering this group and hopes to begin providing stipends soon after. It is estimated that the program will affect over half a million people.
NEXT 24 HOURS
FLOODING AND STRONG WINDS FROM CYCLONE BIPARJOY HAMMERING PAKISTAN’S COASTAL REGION – While no casualties have been reported so far, disaster management officers say that is likely due to power outages that have affected large portions of the coastal areas. The Districts expected to experience the most damage from the storm are Thatta, Baden, and Sujawal. So far, emergency managers seem to have a good handle on the situation and most are waiting for the storm to pass. However, a major concern for the post-storm phase will be the spread of disease. Cholera, dysentery, and various other sicknesses are expected to spread among the coastal populations and resettlement officers say that the pre-storm evacuations conducted over the last five days have already contributed to greater infection. The biggest concern now is the availability of uncontaminated drinking water over the next few weeks.
AFGHANS IN IRAN MAY LOSE BENEFITS/BE DEPORTED FOR OPPOSING HIJAB LAW – A Provincial Immigration Director in Qom Province warned Afghans living in the country that anyone caught not wearing the head coverings would lose their social services benefits and would likely face a tribunal to determine whether they would be deported. The Director went on to criticize the appearance of young Afghan children and said the city of Qom was a holy place that deserved more observance from the ‘guests’ who live there. At-risk Afghans residing in Iran are likely at more risk of feeling the wrath of the Iranian authorities, should they be caught not observing the law. The regime faces no political risk for cutting off the meager benefits it provides and no state has deported more Afghans to date than Iran.
So far, Iranian officials have not acknowledged the complaints about criminal gangs working along the border with Afghanistan to kidnap, torture, and ransom Afghan refugees.
The President’s wife said that women who work and/or study are victims of ‘violence’ in incendiary remarks during an interview with Venezuelan media.
The IRGC tested a ‘suicide drone’ in the Persian Gulf as well as another missile on Thursday. The drone targeted a barge that was situated within Iran’s territorial waters.
The IMF expressed disappointment with the latest government budget proposal. Claims the taxes called for are not equitably distributed.
Pakistan has given conditional approval for women to conduct the Haj without a male relative. The religious council that approved the rule says that a woman must have the permission of her husband or parents to apply.
Fighting between Baloch separatists and the Army resulted in an undetermined number of casualties on both sides Thursday. Three different clashes were reported but details from the fighting have yet to be released.
By Jelena Bjelica & Fabrizio Foschini - Afghanistan Analysts Network
Since they captured power in summer 2021, the Taleban have issued two strict bans on drugs. In April 2022, they banned the cultivation and production of opium and the use, trade and transport of all illegal narcotics. A year later, in March 2023, they issued another ban, specifically on the cultivation of cannabis and the production of hashish. Recent satellite imagery from the UK-based organisation Alcis has indicated that there has, indeed, been a dramatic decrease in opium cultivation in 2023. Data on whether the more recent cannabis ban is being observed and enforced is yet to come. In this report, AAN’s Jelena Bjelica and Fabrizio Foschini offer some background on the bans, including the less-covered prohibitions on cannabis and methamphetamine, and wonder if the Taleban will be able to continue to enforce their restrictions on a sector of the economy which is critical to national and many households’ income – without a backlash.
By Mohammad Farshad Daryosh - TOLO News
Acting Minister of Defense Mawlawi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid denied claims of disputes within the Islamic Emirate and said that any disputes that…
By Sharif Amiry - AMU TV
A Taliban official has said that “jihadi madrassas” have been established in at least five provinces of the country over the past year and that the curriculum for these religious schools has…
By Ruchi Kumar - The National News
By The New Arab
Gangs in Iran are kidnapping mainly Afghan migrants at the border with Turkey and torturing them while holding them for ransom, in what a new report…
By Muhammet Nazim Tasci - Anadolu Agency
“The two countries have reached a shared understanding regarding the project, but no practical measures have been taken to implement it thus far,” a senior…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
By Megan Lacobini de Fazio - Bandcamp
For several decades now, on and off, the musicians of Herat, Afghanistan have been living in exile in the Iranian city…
The UN children’s agency said it was holding discussions with Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban over “timelines and practicalities” for a possible required…
THE DAILY WTF
By Rick Noack - Stuff
The three Taliban soldiers gazed down at the gaping hole in the 125-foot (38m) cliff where one of Afghanistan's two great Buddha figures once stood and…
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 86.05 AFN (as of 15 JUN 2023)