Anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan are asking the international community not to recognize the new government announced by the Taliban this week, stating that the cabinet of exclusively Taliban leaders or their associates is “illegal.”
The Taliban’s all-male government was drawn entirely from the Taliban leadership, reneging on promises of an inclusive cabinet. It’s led by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, who is on a UN blacklist, and includes Sirajuddin Haqqani, an interior minister who is wanted by the FBI. Many other of the cabinet’s top figures are also on UN sanctions lists.
The National Resistance Front (NRF) said it considers the cabinet announcement a sign of the Taliban’s enmity with the people of Afghanistan.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that Taliban must earn its legitimacy, especially since the announced cabinet lacks inclusivity as promised. The EU has said that the cabinet does not live up to promises of ensuring inclusion and representation.
The U.S. has also expressed concerns that the announced cabinet includes figures linked to attacks on American forces.
On the humanitarian front, the United Nations has warned that the country is facing a humanitarian catastrophe, citing that access life supporting services is close to running out. Access to food aid is a primary concern, with OCHA warning that basic services and aid are about to run out.
Another key issue is reuniting children who were separated from families in the mass evacuation from Kabul’s airport. Hundreds of children were separated from their families, landing in countries without their families. Unicef and partners have registered an estimated 300 unaccompanied children in varying countries, some in Germany, Qatar, or other countries.
In a virtual meeting held this week by Blinken and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, 22 foreign ministers of Western nations agreed to coordinate on engagement with the Taliban cabinet.
The meeting also included officials from NATO, the EU and the UN. All agreed to hold the Taliban accountable before giving the government legitimacy. Blinken said legitimacy must be earned, as well as any international support.