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What civilians in Afghanistan say about America's withdrawal

April 15, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 51.5%. 2 min read.

America plans to "close the book" on its 20-year war in Afghanistan -- but the departure of US troops will usher in an uncertain chapter for Afghan civilians.

(CNN)America plans to "close the book" on its 20-year war in Afghanistan -- but the departure of US troops will usher in an uncertain chapter for Afghan civilians.

"We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result," Biden said.

"There will be violence, insecurity will dramatically increase, and once again the Afghan people will start leaving Afghanistan and seeking asylum in other countries," he says.

Many Afghans fear that the Taliban may edge closer to power without the presence of the US military.

President Ashraf Ghani has said he "respects the U. S. decision," but the speaker of Afghanistan's parliament, Mir Rahman Rahmani, warned the country might slide into civil war.

There is a possibility of the return of civil war and this will change Afghanistan into a hub of international terrorism," Rahmani said, according to the Afghan news service Tolo News.

His concerns were echoed by Fatima Gailani, one of just four women negotiating with the Taliban for Afghanistan's government.

A Taliban resurgence would also jeopordize hard-won gains made for Afghan women since the group was ousted from power in 2001.

Fawzia Ahmadi, 42, currently lectures at a private university in Balkh province in northern Afghanistan -- a job she could not have dreamed of when the country was governed by the Taliban in the 1990s.

Under the western-backed Afghan government, women's rights have been protected Ahmadi says, but the risk of backsliding looms.

One student in Kabul, however, told CNN he was confident Afghanistan's civilian government could fend off the Taliban and preserve the country's hard-won gains for civil society.

"Some people think Afghanistan will fall into the hands of militants after the Americans withdraw," said Sayed Shaheer, a 20-year-old student at Kabul University, who has lived his entire life under the shadow of the American war there.

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