Afghanistan

'Even in death they reject us': plight of the LGBT+ community in Afghanistan

International — Report

It has been an economic and humanitarian disaster and human rights have come under sustained assault. A year after the Taliban retook control, Afghanistan continues to founder. For the LGBT+ community, too, the return to power of the Islamic fundamentalists has been a devastating blow. Earlier this year Mediapart's Rachida El Azzouzi and independent journalist Mortaza Behboudi travelled across Afghanistan to report on the situation there. At the time they spoke to 'Najib' – not his real name – to discover the reality of living as a gay man under Taliban rule and they have been in contact with him in recent days. Here is his story.

Inside Roubaix, the town dubbed 'Afghanistan in France'

France — Link

A recent documentary claimed Roubaix, near Lille in the north of France, has fallen under the sway of radical Islam 

The scenes of despair and chaos amid humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

International — Report

It is estimated that around half the population of Afghanistan is facing famine this winter as the humanitarian crisis in the country, described by the UN as one of the worst worldwide, continues to develop following the return to power of the Taliban and subsequent international sanctions. Rachida El Azzouzi and Mortaza Behboudi report from the north-west city of Herat, where some families have sold daughters to buy food. There, they witnessed, and filmed, a stampede by desperate refugees, mostly mothers seeking vital aid kits from the overwhelmed Taliban.

France donates €100 million to emergency UN fund for Afghanistan

France — Link

French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said half of the Afghan population was now at risk, including more than four million women and around 10 million children.

The Taliban are lying, France's foreign minister says

France — Link

Foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke out before heading for talks in Qatar on Sunday to discuss future evacuations from Afghanistan.

Tracing the roots of the Islamic State group in Afghanistan

International

The US military has said its airstrike on Sunday on a vehicle in Kabul has prevented a new attack on the capital’s airport by the Afghan branch of the so-called Islamic State (IS) group who claimed responsibility for last Thursday’s suicide bombing there which left an estimated 170 people dead. But just who are the Afghan IS branch, known as the IS-K? Jean-Pierre Perrin details their history, beginning in 2014 when Pakistani jihadists crossed into Afghanistan and soon became a rival for the Taliban.

The uncertain future for humanitarian aid workers in Afghanistan

International

Most of the humanitarian aid organisations until now active in Afghanistan say they want to continue with their missions following the Taliban takeover of the country. But that prospect faces major challenges, notably due to the volatile security situation, the uncertainty over the Taliban’s future policy towards them, and the collapse of Afghanistan’s banking system. Justine Brabant reports.

France to halt Kabul evacuations after Friday evening

France — Link

France's Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced that evacuations of French nationals and Afghan civilians will end on Friday evening, four days before the deadline set for US forces to leave Afghanistan.

Afghan evacuee detained in France over alleged Taliban links

International — Link

An Afghan man recently evacuated from Kabul has been detained in France over what the government spokesman said were 'links at some point' with the Taliban.

French secret services fear Taliban victory may inspire homegrown terrorists

International — Investigation

The Taliban's return to power in Kabul has raised fears about the potential knock-on effect that their victory will have in other parts of the world. French intelligence services believe that here the main danger is likely to come from the morale boost it will give to terrorists or potential terrorists already based in France. Matthieu Suc has spoken to members of the intelligence community to assess the potential threats following recent events in Afghanistan.

Abdallah Azzam: the man who democratised jihad in Afghanistan

International

With the Taliban in control after the dramatic fall of Kabul, signalling the defeat of the United States after a 20-year war, the eyes of the world are now on Afghanistan. Mediapart looks back at the recent history of the country and in particular how its arid Hindu Kush mountain range became the birthplace of global jihad. As Jean-Pierre Perrin reports in the first of a series of articles, it all began with the arrival of the Palestinian preacher Abdallah Azzam in Peshawar, Pakistan, at the start of the 1980s.

Europe's hypocrisy over Afghan refugees

International — Analysis

Most European Union countries waited until the last minute before suspending expulsions of Afghans who had sought asylum on their soil. Now that the Taliban have seized power in Kabul, the 27 EU foreign ministers are meeting this Tuesday to decide the next steps to take. A dignified welcome for Afghan exiles who have already arrived on their territory would be a first sign of solidarity, says Mediapart's Carine Fouteau.

Macron says Afghanistan must not be 'sanctuary of terrorism' again

International — Link

French president described the situation in Kabul as an "important challenge for our own security" and a "fight against a common enemy of terrorism".

France to begin evacuating citizens as panic grips Kabul

International — Link

Defence minister Florence Parly said they were planning to carry out the first airlift by the end of Monday, saying there were several dozen French citizens to be evacuated.

Afghans who aided French army denied safe haven from Taliban

International

The Taliban’s accelerating offensive in Afghanistan has seen six provincial capitals fall into their control in the space of a few days, raising speculation that they may be in a position to take the capital Kabul within weeks. For the Afghans formerly employed by the forces of the US led international coalition, the dangers posed to the lives of them and their families are very real and greater than ever. But up to around 80 of those employed by the French army in Afghanistan have been refused visas to find safe haven in France, despite the killing in June of one amongst them. Justine Brabant reports.