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Women protest against all-male government appointments

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(Last Updated On: September 8, 2021)

Afghan women on Wednesday voiced their dissatisfaction over the absence of women in Afghanistan’s new interim government, adding that without the participation of women the government will not be inclusive.

The women protested in Kabul city and called on the Taliban to uphold their commitments made in the past to ensure women’s rights are preserved.

The protestors said that government should appoint women in high-ranking government positions.

“Unfortunately, the announcement of cabinet reveals that no women are in the cabinet,” said one activist.

“We are not women of yesterday. We want our rights. We faced violence yesterday, but will continue our fight,” said Diba Farahmand, another activist.

“The cabinet was announced yesterday. Unfortunately no women have been appointed to the cabinet,” said Masooma Rasooli, another protestor.

Meanwhile, Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s spokesman, said on Tuesday that the new government is an interim government and that changes will be brought soon.

Women meanwhile also called on the Taliban to review the lack of women representation in government.

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UK contributes £1 million to support Afghan refugees in Iran

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(Last Updated On: January 18, 2022)

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Iran has welcomed the UK’s first-ever contribution from the United Kingdom in support of vulnerable refugees from Afghanistan.

The £1 million contribution through the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) will allow WFP to preposition assistance for potential new arrivals from Afghanistan with ready-to eat meals and other rations, the WFP said in a statement on Tuesday.

It also gives WFP the flexibility to channel part of the contribution towards supporting 31,000 refugees who have already been living in 20 settlements across the country, helping to stabilize their food security situation and avoid any further population movements.

This allocation will enhance WFP’s life-saving mission, allowing WFP to quickly respond to any increased additional needs through a combination of cash and direct food assistance.

“We’re extremely grateful to the FCDO for this generous contribution and its support to our operations in Iran,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Negar Gerami. “The harsh winter months, job losses, lack of cash and soaring prices have pushed the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan to new highs, with close to 23 million threatened by food insecurity. It is critical that WFP remains prepared to respond to any sudden onset refugee emergency.”

Simon Shercliff, the UK Ambassador to Iran said: “We are pleased to help Iran support the large numbers of Afghan refugees who have chosen to leave Afghanistan.

“This contribution enables WFP to provide these refugees with vital food assistance, including ready-to-eat meals and other rations. The UK stands with the people of Afghanistan and regional partners in pursuit of a stable, peaceful future for the country.”

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Magnitude 5.6 quake hits western Afghanistan, killing more than 20

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(Last Updated On: January 18, 2022)

An earthquake rocked western Afghanistan on Monday, killing more than 20 people and destroying hundreds of homes, local authorities said.

The 5.6 magnitude tremor shook the western province of Badghis, bordering Turkmenistan, in the afternoon, reducing brick homes to rubble, according to photos shared by local authorities, Reuters reported.

“Unfortunately, our initial reports show that 26 people, including five women and four children, have been killed and four others injured,” said Baz Mohammad Sarwari, the director of Information and Culture of the Badghis provincial administration.

“The Mujahideen have reached to some of the affected areas, but Badghis is a mountainous province, the number of casualties might go up,” he added, referring to Taliban fighters, and adding that heavy rain was also lashing the area.

Mullah Janan Saeqe, head of the Emergency Operations Centre of the Ministry of State for Emergency Affairs, confirmed the death toll and said more than 700 houses had been damaged, Reuters reported.

Sanullah Sabit, the head of the nursing unit at the main hospital in Badghis’ capital said they had received five patients injured in the quake, mostly with broken bones and fractures.

The quake was at a depth of 30 km (18.64 miles), according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre.

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Pakistan fired 21 rockets towards Afghanistan: officials

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(Last Updated On: January 18, 2022)

Military officials in the eastern zone told Ariana News on Monday that clashes broke out between Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) and Pakistani forces on Sunday night in the Sarkano district of Kunar province, close to the Durand Line.

Officials said that Pakistani forces fired 21 rockets towards Afghanistan, but that no casualties were reported.

Hamdullah Hamdard, the spokesman for the 1st Border Battalion of the Eastern Zone, said that IEA forces also fired several rockets back at Pakistani forces.

“Clashes erupted between Taliban (IEA) and Pakistani forces in Sarkano district of Kunar province. The clashes continued until 9:00 pm. The cause of the clashes was because of the attack by Pakistani forces. In response, Taliban (IEA) forces also fired rockets towards them, and maybe they suffered casualties. Our forces and people did not suffer casualties,” added Hamdard.

IEA officials said recently they are establishing 32 new check posts along the Durand Line to counter Pakistani attacks.

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