More than 60 countries say Afghans must be allowed to leave

More than 60 countries say Afghans, others must be allowed to leave Afghanistan
2 min read
There were desperate scenes at Kabul's airport on Monday as people tried to board the few flights available.

Authorities then cancelled all remaining commercial flights because of the chaos [Getty]

More than 60 countries issued a joint statement saying Afghans and international citizens who want to leave Afghanistan must be allowed to depart and added airports and border crossings must remain open, the US State Department said late on Sunday.

The US government and more than 60 other countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Qatar and the United Kingdom said in a joint statement that "those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan bear responsibility - and accountability - for the protection of human life and property, and for the immediate restoration of security and civil order."

It added "the Afghan people deserve to live in safety, security and dignity. We in the international community stand ready to assist them."

There were desperate scenes at Kabul's airport on Monday as people tried to board the few flights available.

The United States had sent 6,000 troops to the airport to ensure the safe evacuation of embassy staff, as well as Afghans who worked as interpreters or in other support roles.

Other governments had also organised charter flights.

The US government said Monday it had secured the airport, but there was still chaos with witnesses reporting American soldiers firing in the air to warn off crowds.

Authorities then cancelled all remaining commercial flights because of the chaos.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged the Taliban and all parties to "exercise restraint" and said the rights of women and girls, who suffered under the previous Taliban regime, must be protected.

The Taliban imposed an ultra-strict interpretation of sharia law during their 1996-2001 rule.

This included banning girls from schools and women from working, while people were publicly stoned to death for adultery.

(Reuters)