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UN staff in Afghanistan Feeling Left As Taliban Rises

When the Taliban took power last week, Afghan people working for the United Nations saw many of their foreign counterparts boarding a plane from the country.

But their increasingly pleas for help to get out – or other safe havens if the Taliban are pursuing them in their global work – are being ignored, according to interviews and emails seen by BuzzFeed News.

The UN and its former allies say the UN, which has been operating in Afghanistan since 2002, does not seem to have a plan to evacuate thousands of Afghans from the country and has given them a few ways to stay at home where terrorists can be. looking for them.

By phone and note, four Afghan Afghan workers told BuzzFeed News that the UN had not provided them with safe housing in Kabul, leaving others seeking shelter with relatives. They also said that Afghan people working for the UN take more risks in the country because of lower wages than their international counterparts, and their work could put them at risk. Reuters added Tuesday that Taliban fighters had seized several UN weapons since taking office last week.

“It’s very common in the regions,” said a former UN staff member who requested anonymity. “The Taliban are well aware of these people.”

The UN has not responded to repeated requests for comment.

Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for the Secretary-General, said in Aug. 18 A press conference said that the UN could not easily deport Afghan citizens from the country because “it is not a country that issues visas.”

He also said that the UN is doing “what is possible” for workers in their country and their families. “There are all kinds of leadership challenges that need to be addressed and addressed,” Dujarric said. “But the workers in the country are at the forefront of what we are trying to do every day.”

Organization ali za About 300 international workers and 3,000 Afghan workers in Afghanistan work for UN agencies and organizations such as the UN Development Program and UN Women. The commission said on Aug. 18 that about 100 percent of the world’s workers have moved to Kazakhstan for some time.

The well-known UN PassBlue website report Friday that Afghan people working for the organization feel “alone and frustrated.” New stories in the case of Afghan workers begging for help from Taliban hideouts – although one has heard that terrorists were in his area asking where he was – raise further questions as to whether the UN is fully prepared to protect local workers as a military force. . The Taliban have intensified their campaign against Afghanistan since May.

“They have months to prepare for this,” said a former international worker.

An Afghan worker, who works in the UN’s humanitarian department, said he and his colleagues had repeatedly brought up the issue of removing people from the Zoom conference box with their colleagues and officials last week, but did not respond. (BuzzFeed News is hiding information about four Afghan colleagues who were interviewed in this case to prevent them from endangering them.)

“They usually read the chat box,” he said. “This time he sees the conversation but is trying to change the subject and end it all.”

The official said he had asked his superiors if the UN could help him and other Afghan workers with valid international visas. But he was told that the mob would try to get him out of the way, forcing him to leave his wife and baby.

“How does this sound?” he said. “How can I leave my family if I leave the country? It’s not acceptable for me or for the workers in the country – it’s against human morality, it’s against human morality. “

Other Afghan workers also reported similar meetings.

“He’s just playing with us. Every week there is a meeting where they say ‘they are doing their best,’ “said an Afghan worker at the UN Development Project who works on gender equality. “What kind of test is this? If small diplomats can fire workers, why can’t the UN work? “

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

Liam McDowall, spokesman for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama), said PassBlue that the UN is pushing other countries to support visas and temporary applications from Afghan workers and their families.

Unama did not respond to phone calls or emails.

Officials interviewed by BuzzFeed News also said that UN officials had told them they were campaigning for visas to relocate to other countries, but some said they felt it was too late.

“This is not the time for visas,” said an Afghan official working with UNDP. “We have UN diplomas, they can negotiate with other countries to get them out immediately.”

A UN staff member who urged the UN to fire its female employees in Afghanistan over allegations of violence against Taliban women told BuzzFeed News that she had sought the help of Afghan workers at town hall meetings and through local and international organizations. the earth.

“No one heard us,” he said. No one is listening.

“They told us we must ‘live and save,'” he added, quoting a UN statement about their presence in Afghanistan.

The UN says moved others of workers from Afghanistan to Kabul to reduce their risk but did not put the people in a safe place.

“They were not housed in strongholds, they were left to do what they wanted,” said the former international worker, who spoke directly to Afghan workers.

International Bank transferred all working in Afghanistan, Reuters reported on Aug. 20.

A group of UN agencies and working groups began the request calling on the UN Secretary-General to implement “all necessary measures” including migration to protect workers. It has about 5,300 signatures since Tuesday afternoon.

“We have to protect the human rights of all people, and now we are leaving ours to take care of themselves,” said Arora Akanksha, a UN treasurer who wants to be the next secretary-general. “Shame on the UN and its leadership.”

“With all the ‘advertised’ messages that the UN is promoting, we have to ask ourselves who is left?” he added.

An Unama employee who said he was hiding in a remote area told BuzzFeed News Taliban insurgents were asking his neighbors about his whereabouts. He has worked in difficult political situations, and he believes he can be beaten.

“Everyone here knows that I am working with Unama,” he said. “I’m super.”

He told BuzzFeed News that he had asked his department to relocate him to a safe place where terrorists would have a hard time getting to know him by talking to locals, a few days before Kabul’s fall to the Taliban. A few days later, after the terrorist group seized power, a response came telling him to hide at home, according to emails he shared with BuzzFeed News.

“I feel like a prisoner,” he said. “I can’t go outside, I can’t see anyone. How long can I stay here? ”


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