Afghans protest against freezing of assets by the US

Afghans taking part in a protest in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, on January 2, 2022. (Saifurahman Safi/Xinhua/IANS)

Afghans protest against freezing of assets by the US

Kabul, January 3, 2022

Thousands of Afghans took to the streets of Kabul to protest against freezing of the war-torn country's assets by the United States, demanding their immediate release amid the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

The demonstrators on Sunday were holding placards that said "our seized money should be handed over!" and "Give us our frozen money", media reports said.

"The special demand of Afghan people and my demand is to unfreeze our money, it is our rights, they should give our rights, otherwise we will continue our demonstration to make our voice heard," a protester Zekrullah said in a diplomatic district near the shuttered US embassy, adding that the demonstrators came from different provinces.

The protesters said a ban on Afghan assets was an act against the international laws and a violation of international principles.

Since the takeover of Afghanistan in August 2020 and the formation of the Taliban-led caretaker government in September, the country has faced economic problems.

Basic services in Afghanistan are collapsing while food and other life-saving aid are about to run out.

The situation worsened following the freezing of over $9 billion of assets of Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), the country's central bank, by the US as well as a halt of funds by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Taliban caretaker government has repeatedly called upon the US to unfreeze assets with aid agencies warning of acute food shortages for more than 22 million Afghans.

The ongoing crisis has forced many Afghans to flee the country, but the Taliban officials have been trying to convince the people to stay, promising them that the problems will be solved in the near future.


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