Afghanistan: Ousted President Ashraf Ghani In UAE ‘On Humanitarian Grounds’
United Arab Emirates has on Wednesday said that it is hosting former Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani and his family “on humanitarian grounds“, after he fled his country amid a Taliban takeover.
The Middle East country in a brief statement said;
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation can confirm that the UAE has welcomed President Ashraf Ghani and his family into the country on humanitarian grounds.
MDB earlier reported that the ousted Afghan president fled the country on Sunday as the Taliban closed in on Kabul, before the insurgents walked into the Afghan capital unopposed.
In a Facebook post, Ghani said the “Taliban have won” and that he fled to avoid a “flood of bloodshed“.
However, Nikita Ishchenko, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Kabul, told Reuters that Ghani fled the country with four cars and a helicopter full of cash and had to leave some money behind as it would not all fit in.
Four cars were full of money, they tried to stuff another part of the money into a helicopter, but not all of it fit. And some of the money was left lying on the tarmac.
Meanwhile, this is the first time Ghani’s whereabouts have been confirmed. It had previously been reported he had originally gone to Tajiktan, Uzbejistan or Oman.
Now, the Afghan ambassador in Tajikistan has been quoted as saying the 72-year-old president left with $169m (£123m).
This would not be the first time that the oil-rich Gulf country opens its arms to former leaders and their relatives, now persona non grata in their country.
In 2017, the emirate of Dubai hosted former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who was sentenced in absentia to five years in prison.
Spain’s king Juan Carlos went into self-exile in the UAE in August last year as questions mounted over the origins of his fortune, and the UAE was Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto‘s home during her eight years in exile before she was assassinated in her home country in 2007.
UAE is one of three nations, including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, which recognised the previous Taliban regime, which ruled from 1996 to 2001.
On Monday, there were scenes of panic and chaos at the Kabul airport as desperate residents tried to flee the war-torn country. Deaths were reported as some clung to planes flying out of the capital.
Earlier this year, the war between the Taliban and Afghan forces intensified as foreign troops announced their withdrawal from the country by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the attacks that led to the US invasion.
With the collapse of the Afghan government, attention is turning to ensure the safety of civilians and evacuees and an orderly transfer of power.
The Taliban has declared that the war in Afghanistan is over and said efforts to form an inclusive government are under way.