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September-12-00

Fear Of Ethnic Cleansing By Taliban Displaces 100,000

Earlier this month, Taliban forces captured the northern city of Taloqan that borders Tajikistan. Taliban take over of Taloqan sounds the alarm in an already catastrophic situation for Afghans with the Taliban close to capturing the remaining 10% of Afghanistan. Taloqan was the major strong hold of the Northern Alliance, the major force opposing the Taliban inside Afghanistan. More than 100,000 ethnic minorities are reported to have fled Taloqan to escape the Taliban's brutality. United Nations officials and other non-governmental relief agencies are gravely concerned about the plight of those fleeing Taloqan because neither can transport food or medicine due to Taliban block of roads accessing the region. "With a drought already severe, and winter fast approaching, thousands of people could die in the next few weeks," remarked a relief worker in Afghanistan quoted by Electronic Telegraph. United Nations officials are currently invoking talks with Taliban leaders in Kabul to convince the transport of aid convoys to refugees in the Pamir Mountains in preparation of winter that is only six weeks away.

Since 1996, when the Taliban militia took control of Kabul, women in areas under Taliban rule have been oppressed by a strict system of gender apartheid, under which they have been stripped of their visibility, voice and mobility. The edicts imposed by the Taliban, which have been brutally enforced, banished most women from the work force, closed schools to girls in cities and expelled women from universities, and prohibited women from leaving their homes unless accompanied by a close male relative. The Feminist Majority Foundation's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan works to fully and permanently restore the human rights of Afghan women and girls.

Media Resources: BBC News 12 September 2000, Electronic Telegraph 12 September 2000, AFP 12 September 2000

   

     

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