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NATO Troop Levels in Afghanistan Will be Decided Later This Year: Stoltenberg

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(Last Updated On: May 26, 2017)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday  they have not decided exact troops levels for 2018 in Afghanistan, adding that it will be decided later on this year.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting of the Heads of the States and Government in Brussels on Thursday, Stoltenberg said: ” First of all we haven’t decided exact troop levels for 2018. Some allies also announced that they’re willing to increase their force contributions. But the exact force or troop levels will be decided later on this year.

“We reviewed our training mission in Afghanistan, and we agreed that we will continue to sustain our mission. I welcome that several Allies came forward today with new troop contributions. And on the basis of our review, we will take further decisions in the coming weeks.”

NATO is expected to increase the number of its troops in Afghanistan as the Taliban continues to cause serious threats to the government forces in the country.

The alliance have around 13,000 forces in the country mainly engaged in training, assisting and Advising mission with Afghan security forces.

“What we are aiming at and the purpose of our training mission in Afghanistan is to strengthen the capabilities and the capacities of the Afghan National Security Forces to fight Taliban and to fight the different terrorist groups in Afghanistan. And we are in particular working with the Afghan special operation forces,” NATO Secretary General said.

Stoltenberg said that developing Afghan Air force is key in the fight against insurgents and NATO is helping them in regard.

“We are also helping them to improve command and control,” he said.  

He also said there is difficult situation in Afghanistan, “there will be more violence, more challenges, and still many,  many unsolved problems in Afghanistan including the issue of corruption.”

“But we have made progress especially in building a strong national Afghan army and security force which has proven capable, professional and able to take over responsibility for the security in Afghanistan, without NATO forces conducting combat operations, but with our support.”

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France evacuates more than 300 people from Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2021)

France has carried out an evacuation mission in Afghanistan, taking 258 Afghans as well as 11 French, about 60 Dutch nationals and an unspecified number of people linked to them out of the country, a French foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Friday.

The operation was organised with help from Qatar, a ministry statement said.

Since September 10, 110 French people and 396 Afghans have been evacuated from Afghanistan on 10 flights organised with the help of Qatar, the statement added.

France and Qatar jointly operated a humanitarian mission on Thursday, delivering medical equipment, food and winter supplies to international organisations operating in the country with a Qatari military plane, Reuters reported.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) this week described an “alarming” socioeconomic outlook for Afghanistan for the next 13 months.

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UNHCR calls for more aid for forcibly displaced in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: December 3, 2021)

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has appealed for much more support amid acute and rising humanitarian needs for 3.5 million people displaced by conflict inside Afghanistan – including 700,000 who were displaced in 2021.

In a statement released on Friday, UNHCR said that the forcibly displaced are facing a lack of insulated shelters, warm clothes, insufficient fuel for heating, and inadequate amounts of food and medical supplies as temperatures begin to plunge below freezing.

“The humanitarian crisis is escalating daily in Afghanistan. Hunger in the country has reached truly unprecedented levels. Nearly 23 million people – that’s 55 percent of the population – are facing extreme levels of hunger, and nearly 9 million of them are at risk of famine,” the statement read.

The organization emphasized that providing food supplies is an “immediate priority” to help avoid widespread starvation in the country.

“This year, UNHCR has assisted some 700,000 displaced people across the country the majority since mid-August. The race is on to reach more. Currently, we are able to reach nearly 60,000 people every week.”

“Further resources are urgently needed for the most vulnerable -single mothers with no shelter or food for their children, older persons who have been displaced are left to take care of orphaned grandchildren, and those taking care of loved ones with special needs.”

UNHCR has been bringing in relief supplies by road through Afghanistan’s neighboring countries and through humanitarian airlifts.

The organization noted that five more flights carrying UNHCR winter supplies from its global stockpiles in Amman are scheduled next week.

“UNHCR support will continue throughout the cold season until February 2022 to help forcibly displaced families cope with the extreme conditions. The response includes core relief items, such as thermal blankets and warm winter clothing. Shelters are being repaired and reinforced, while people are also being provided plastic sheeting and insulation materials to help weather-proof their shelters,” the statement said.

The organization added that vulnerable families are also being provided with cash assistance to meet additional needs during the coldest months, such as fuel for heating.

“Further support is urgently needed for UNHCR to continue delivering lifesaving aid this winter as we head into the coldest weeks of the season. UNHCR’s funding needs for the Afghanistan Situation in 2022 – including continued winter response – amount to US$374.9 million,” the statement concluded.

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Security forces rescue girl, arrest 9 kidnappers in Balkh operation

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(Last Updated On: December 3, 2021)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) forces have rescued an abducted girl in northern Balkh province, officials said Friday.

Sadra. 9, was kidnapped in PD3 of Mazar-i-Sharif city, the capital of Balkh, on Tuesday while she was going to school.

IEA officials stated that Sadra had been rescued in a joint operation of security forces in the city.

One of the kidnappers was killed, and nine others were arrested during the raid, officials said.

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