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Afghans are evacuated from the country in foreign military aircrafts. Photo: Getty Images
Afghans are evacuated from the country in foreign military aircrafts. Photo: Getty Images

Thousands of Afghans try to escape amid fear and desperation

Only a week has passed since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, and the humanitarian crisis unleashed looks set to be one of the worst in recent years.

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After the departure of U.S. troops, fear rules the streets of Kabul. Women take refuge in their homes and men go out in fear of Taliban fighters.
 
Regarding the situation, UN Secretary General António Guterres said via Twitter that "we cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan." Guterres also said that the rights of all citizens who are in the middle of the war must be preserved.
 
The UN Secretary warned that what happened in Afghanistan generates a setback of rights achieved years ago. 
 
"International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Human Rights must be preserved, especially the achievements obtained with so much effort by women and girls," said Guterres. 

Escaping the war 

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Amid all that has happened, hundreds of Afghan citizens have tried to flee, and videos on social media confirm the harsh reality of life in the country.
 
A heartbreaking video shows mothers handing over their children to soldiers at the Kabul airport and asking them to take them to safety. Among a crowd of people outside the international airport, a baby is seen being passed from hand to hand in a makeshift human chain that brings it closer to some British soldiers, with the aim of getting one of them to take it out of the country.

U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace warned that it is not possible to take unaccompanied minors out of Afghanistan.

"We can't take a minor on our own. It is very, very difficult for those soldiers, as the images show, to deal with some desperate people who just want to get out of the country," the official explained, referring to one of the videos released.

Refuge in Latin America
On the afternoon of Aug. 20, President Ivan Duque, announced that Colombia will temporarily receive Afghans who were working for the United States. 
 
"Colombia joins the group of allied countries that are going to offer support to the United States for those people, nationals of Afghanistan, who provided aid to that country for years and are in the process of making a registration and a migratory transfer, so that they can be in Colombia temporarily," Duque said. 
 
The President said the United States will assume the costs for all who will arrive in the country, which would be around 4,000. The government has not released details on the date of arrival yet, but said it would be "soon."
 
According to the list released by the U.S. State Department, other countries that will receive Afghan refugees will be Bahrain, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Qatar, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan. In Latin America, in addition to Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica and Chile will also help in the resettlement effort.
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