Afghanistan: Kabul Seized by the Taliban as Foreign Troops Depart

Over the last few chaotic days, there has been a shift in power in Afghanistan. 20 years after foreign troops arrived in the country to form a US-led coalition, the Taliban has once more gained control. This has come after a series of events including President Biden’s decision to remove American forces and the collapse of the Afghan government which saw their President, Ashraf Ghani flee overseas.

The combined result of the political leader seeking pastures new abroad and the lack of military presence from the coalition left an easy transition for the Taliban who resumed power after seizing the capital city of Kabul.

Disturbing scenes in Afghanistan

The US and other countries are increasing efforts to evacuate staff and allies in a hurry amid the desperate scenes at Kabul airport. Panic has set in as local residents try to prevent the allies from leaving with little or no regard for their own safety. In attempting to either escape or prevent the planes from taking off, people have been clinging onto parts of the aircraft whilst in motion.

This total disregard for the consequences has unfortunately seen three fatalities from falling off the underside of a plane. The US army has since confirmed this and also the shooting of two armed men in the furore and that all flights have been grounded until the airport is secured and the crowds are under control.

Kabul crumbles

Kabul was the most significant area left that was not already under Taliban control. Having dominated most other territories throughout the country, Kabul would be the final obstacle for them. The departure of foreign military support from the city left a clear path for Taliban forces to seize the capital. The Taliban expansion has been a growing process that began months ago but to the dismay of locals has accelerated beyond control in recent days.

Following the Taliban’s seizure of Kabul, hundreds of people headed to the airport in desperation. Speculation is rife at present regarding the current situation, but rumours indicate that some are being permitted to travel without visas and that Afghans are being evacuated if they are associated in any way with international organisations and foreign governments. Currently, international troops including American and Turkish militants are working on the scene in an attempt to bring some order.

How to claim asylum in the UK

This of course may result in many asylum seekers attempting to seek solace in Britain. You must apply for asylum if you want to stay in the UK as a refugee, this is a rough overview of proceedings;

  • Eligibility criteria states you must have left your country and be unable to go back because you fear persecution.
  • Apply when you arrive in the UK or as soon as you think it would be unsafe for you to return to your own country is advised. Delaying the application raises the chances of it being declined.
  • After your scheduled screening (meeting with an immigration officer) the Home Office will decide if your claim can be considered in the UK.
  • Application decisions are normally configured within 6 months.

If you would like to find out more about our immigration services and how we can help, visit our Asylum and Humanitarian Protection Page.

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