Colum Eastwood calls for international action to address Afghanistan crisis

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has called for international action to address the crisis situation developing in Afghanistan.

Monday, 16th August 2021, 6:08 pm
Afghans inspect damaged shops after fighting between Taliban and Afghan security forces in Kunduz city, northern Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Abdullah Sahil)

The Foyle MP said: “The scenes currently unfolding in Afghanistan are heart-breaking. Taliban rule will have dire consequences for people living in Afghanistan and the wider region, with women and girls in particular subject to the most draconian laws under this regime. The fear and anguish felt by many in the country as the Taliban have made their advance is clear for all to see through news reports and distressing social media footage."

He said the British Government have 'a duty to help people fleeing the Taliban' and must support refugees and those seeking asylum.

"This current situation is partly of the British Government’s making and they must face up to their responsibilities in the region, alongside the US and other countries involved. The impact of their previous colonial misadventures in the Middle East and this part of Asia, compounded by this disastrous campaign and its end, have left a legacy of pain and suffering for people right across this part of the world. That this situation is unfolding as the British Government announces huge cuts to foreign aid compounds the difficulties faced by those living there,” he said.

Mr. Eastwood said the replacement of the Ashraf Ghani regime by the Taliban will have a 'serious impact on wider global relations.'

"We need to see action from the international community to address this crisis. The invasion of Afghanistan was a disaster from the start and now this shambolically-handled withdrawal has turned into a nightmare for the people living there. Despite years of war, with thousands of lives lost the situation is now virtually back where it started with the British Government failing to learn the lessons of its colonial past," he said.