The next day in Afghanistan had an air of déjà vu. In the hours following the departure of the last American soldier from the country, on the night of Monday August 30 to Tuesday August 31, the victorious shots of the Taliban saluting a moment “Historical” recalled those who had marked their return to power, twenty years after being driven out.

The same shots punctuated their entry into Kabul on August 15, which fell without a fight. They also sounded during the signing, on February 29, 2020, in Doha, Qatar, of an agreement with the United States on the withdrawal of its troops.

Afghanistan, “graveyard of the superpowers”

Originally scheduled for Tuesday, August 31 in the evening, the end of the American presence was finally brought forward by one day for security reasons. Speaking on Tuesday morning from the deserted tarmac at Kabul airport, one of the movement’s spokespersons, Zabihullah Mujahid, was able, triumphantly, surrounded by Taliban fighters taking pictures of themselves, declaring: “This is a great lesson for other invaders, for our future generation and for the world. “

In Kandahar, the great southern city and historic stronghold of the Taliban, cries of joy echoed in unison with gunfire, fired by fundamentalists circulating in the streets on motorcycles or in vehicles. Their slogans sang of the defeat of the “American superpower” and the glory of Afghanistan, “Cemetery of the superpowers”.

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In the capital, now completely under Taliban control, the country’s new leaders attended a major rally on Tuesday celebrating the “Afghan independence day”. Since “The security issue has been resolved, people are worried about the economy”, said Enamullah Samangani, member of the cultural affairs committee. The most urgent challenge, he said, is finding the funds to pay civil servants and keep vital infrastructure in working order.

The province of Oruzgan, located north of Kandahar, has been without electricity for a week. In Kabul, the police have not been paid for four months. The Taliban have also blamed the West for taking some of the most educated and skilled Afghans with them.

“On the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe”

The Taliban know what construction sites await them. The main leaders met in Kandahar on August 27 for three days to arbitrate the composition of a government which must, they promised, bring together the main political forces of the country. They have already been able to measure the weight of the economic crisis affecting a country devastated by war. The coffers are empty, the funds of the central bank are frozen by the United States, the countryside suffers from a severe drought and the cases of famine are so dramatic that the United Nations warned, Tuesday, that “Afghanistan is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe”.

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