With the US and NATO forces almost at the end of their pullout, a Taliban regime seems more and more worrying for many inside particularly women. Many are now asking for a UN Peace Keeping force when the US and its allies leave. Right now, no such proposal apparently exists.
Under the Taliban, women were not allowed to go to school, work outside the home or leave their house without a male escort. In the post –Taliban era, things have much improved but a return naturally is scary. The Associated Press reports that , 140 civil society and faith leaders from the U.S, Afghanistan and other countries have requested the U.S. President Joe Biden to call for a U.N. peacekeeping force “to ensure that the cost of U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan is not paid for in the lives of schoolgirls.” On May 8, a bomb in a Hazara school in Kabul on May 8 killed nearly 100 people, mostly young girls. Hazars are Shia minority unlike the Sunni dominated Taliban.
The signatories are saying that the US had mentioned protecting women was part of the peace deal but now they are left vulnerable. In some ways, it shows the weakness of social movements across the globe. These Human rights groups are linked mostly to the US so as US declines so do thweir support bases. Sakena Yacoobi, a signatory says, “What the Taliban did in the 1990s was bad enough. What will they do now, with a generation of women taught to expect freedom? Help us save them. “
The Taliban position and the UN
In April the Taliban promised that women “can serve their society in the education, business, health and social fields while maintaining correct Islamic hijab.” It promised girls would have the right to choose their own husbands, but offered few other details.
U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, expressing concern has called for a U.N. peacekeeping mission to deploy to Afghanistan “as soon as practically possible.” The letter to the U.S. ambassador said similar messages were being sent to other U.N. ambassadors from citizens in their countries asking for a peacekeeping operation.
A U.S. mission spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on the call for a U.N. peacekeeping force. Instead, it was said that the Biden administration will continue to support Afghan forces and U.S. “diplomatic, humanitarian and economic engagement in the region.”
The United Nations has a political mission in Afghanistan. A U.N. peacekeeping mission would have to be approved by the Security Council, where the five permanent members -- the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France -- have veto power.
That means both China and Russia has to agree to a Peacekeeping force so the chances are rather low. The US departure which now increasingly looks “hasty” and that is why the desperate Afghan voices are probably falling on deaf ears.