UN Afghanistan Staffers Feel Abandoned As Taliban Surges

When the Taliban took power last week, Afghan people working for the United Nations saw many of their foreign counterparts flying in 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 and provide them with alternatives but 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 argued that Afghan people working for the UN take a higher risk 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 the UN could not easily deport Afghan citizens from the country because it “is not a visa-issuing country.”

He also said that the UN is doing “what is possible” for the workers in their country and their families. “There are all kinds of leadership issues 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 300 international staff and 3,000 Afghan workers in Afghanistan, working for UN in the country as well as 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 Friday report that the Afghan people working for the council felt “alone and frustrated.” New stories in the case of Afghan workers begging for help from Taliban hideouts – as they heard terrorists in his area asking where he was – raise some questions as to whether the UN is fully prepared to protect local workers as a military force. . The Taliban have upgraded their weapons of war against the Afghan government since May.

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

An Afghan worker, who works in the UN’s human resources department, said he and his colleagues had repeatedly brought up the issue of evacuating people from the Zoom meeting box with colleagues and officials last week, but did not respond. (BuzzFeed News hides a lot of information about four Afghan collaborators who were interviewed about the issue so as not to put them at risk.)

He says: “They usually read the chat box. “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 group would try to get him out, forcing him to leave his wife and young child.

“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 humanitarian principles, it is against human nature. ”

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 the young ambassadors can lay off workers, why can’t the UN? “

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 Afghan women workers in connection with Taliban violence against women told BuzzFeed News that she had sought the help of Afghan workers at town hall meetings and through local and international organizations. 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 his Afghan workers to Kabul to reduce their risk but did not put the people in a safe place.

“They are not housed in strongholds, they are left to do what they want,” 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.”

“The whole message ‘has been publicized’ by the UN, we must ask ourselves who is left?” he added.

An Unama staff member 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 the political arena, and he believes he could be beaten.

“Everyone here knows I’m 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 the terrorists would have a hard time getting to know him by talking to the locals, just 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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