The Taliban on Monday celebrated one year since taking control of Afghanistan as a “day of victory” amid an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and a collapsed economy.
The group has struggled to govern and remains internationally isolated. The economic downturn has driven millions more Afghans into poverty and even hunger, as the flow of foreign aid has slowed to a trickle.
The group has faced criticism for imposing curbs on women’s rights, including denying education to high school girls, instead of focusing its attention on reviving the aid-dependent economy. Western sanctions imposed following the Taliban’s capture of power last August have emptied the economy of the much-needed foreign aid – which formed nearly 70 percent of the economy.
Taliban fighters, some hoisting rifles or the white banners of their movement, staged small victory parades on foot, bicycles and motorcycles in the streets of the capital. One small group marched past the former US Embassy, chanting “Long live Islam” and “Death to America.”
The US-led forces withdrew from the country last August after 20 years of occupation.