Forced Displacement: Taliban Gives A Five-Day Ultimatum to Versaj Residents to Evacuate Their Houses or Face Consequences

In the past few weeks, the National Resistance Front (NRF) has launched a series of strikes against Taliban positions and bases across several provinces in the north and northeast of the country.

In response to the NRF operations, the Taliban have carried out air and land operations in the Andarab and Khost districts of Baghlan, Versaj district of Takhar and across the Panjshir Valley, killing dozens of people and forcing hundreds of families to flee to the mountains.

In the latest case, locals have reported to Hasht-e Subh that Taliban commanders have issued a five-day deadline for the residents of Tagab-e-Aimand village in the Kunduz Valley of the Versaj district of Takhar province to evacuate their housed and leave the; or, Taliban would bomb their homes.

Earlier, the Taliban reportedly shot dead six people in the area for allegedly collaborating with the NRF. Among them, the identities of two farmers and a teacher have been identified, and the identities of the other three are still unknown.

A number of residents in the Aimand district of Versaj told Hasht-e Subh that Mullah Janu, a brutal commander of the Taliban Army in the northeast is personally leading a unit of several hundreds of Taliban forces in the Tagab Aimand in the past few days. According to them, the Taliban have seized the cars and motorcycles of the residents of the area and have ordered them to hand over the members of the Resistance Front to Taliban or their assets seized would be burned down. These residents state that they have nothing to do with any group, stressing that they are engaged in peasantry and livestock. They insist and call on Taliban seniors to stop fueling another civil war based on ethnicity and harassment of the innocent residents with no connection to any armed resistant groups.

“The Taliban have been moving in our area for two weeks,” a resident of Tagab-e-Aimand, who did not wanted his name to be anonymous told Hasht-e Subh. “About 400 fighters have been deployed here,” he added. “Everyone has been warned of forced eviction and a five-day deadline has been issued leave the villages or face the bombing consequences.”

“Our people are in a lot of trouble,” said the resident of Versaj district, with a sore throat. “The Taliban shot two of us in public. Children and the elderly are all suffering at the hands of these people.”

“There are about 600 families in this village,” said Shamsullah (a pseudonym). “Taliban forces are stationed here. Six of us have been martyred. The Taliban want to force us to leave. “We seek refuge to God.”

“The Taliban rebels have tortured us immensely,” says Mawladad (a pseudonym). “Taliban fighters have forced people to flee the villages and seek shelter in the mountains. There are children who can not tolerate the harsh and hot weather in the mountain and in case the issue of the current clashes is not resolved, the risk of human tragedy is very high.” The residents emphasize on current catastrophe that Taliban in the battleground has created.

Meanwhile, Richard Bennett, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, has said that audio and video obtained from Panjshir, Baghlan and Takhar are indicating a clear sign of war against innocent civilians and Taliban are coming war crime, which is not acceptable by the international community. In a tweet, he has stressed the observance of human rights and international humanitarian rights, expressing concerns over the violations of human rights provinces. The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights has added that there are numerous reports of Taliban ill treatment and torture of civilians in the provinces.

Meanwhile, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the former Supreme National Reconciliation Council, has said in a statement, “Taliban has dropped down the country into junks of crisis. Such acts are condemned on the basis of religious rites, human rights, principles of war, national and international custom,” he stressed.

Abdullah has called on the international community and human rights organizations to carry out an independent investigations on recent war crimes that Taliban have been committing across the country, particularly in northern provinces and share the results with the people of Afghanistan and international community to pressurize Taliban based on findings and proofs of the investigation.