Kabul protesters demand release of Afghanistan’s frozen assets

Hundreds march to US Embassy with banners reading 'Let us eat' and 'Give us our money'

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Hundreds of protesters have marched to Kabul's shuttered US Embassy, demanding the release of Afghanistan’s frozen assets.

With banners reading “Let us eat” and “Give us our frozen money”, protesters marched through the streets chanting slogans, with the ruling Taliban providing security.

International funding to Afghanistan has been suspended and billions of dollars of the country’s assets abroad, mostly in the US, were frozen after the Taliban took control of the country in mid-August.

The lack of funding has battered Afghanistan’s already troubled economy, leading to increase in poverty while aid groups warn of a looming humanitarian catastrophe.

State employees, from doctors to teachers and administrative civil servants, have not been paid in months. Banks have restricted how much money account holders can withdraw.

People are protesting in Kabul as doctors, teachers and administrative civil servants have not been paid in months. AFP

No country has yet officially recognised the country’s new Taliban rulers because of the armed group’s previous track record.

The Taliban’s previous regime 20 years ago banned women and girls from education and public life, mandated beards for men and attendance at prayers, banned sports and entertainment and carried out public executions.

But current Taliban government officials say their rule will be different, including eventually allowing education for all girls, and have called on the international community to release funds and help stave off a humanitarian disaster.

Updated: December 21, 2021, 1:35 PM
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