Irish woman in Kabul says there’s been a total transformation

An Irish woman living in Kabul says there’s been a total transformation in atmosphere in the space of two days.

The Taliban is issuing public messaging to reassure people they will not be punished, after it took full control of Afghanistan yesterday.

Order is said to have been restored at the airport and flights are resuming after chaotic scenes of people desperately trying to flee.

Aoife McManus from Co. Meath, who is waiting for a flight home, says people are panicked.

“In the last few days it’s just a total transformation of atmosphere,  on the streets, of everything in the city.

“A couple of days ago it was business as usual, and yesterday and today the streets are full of internally displaced people, people panicking trying to get out.

“The Taliban are saying ‘stay in, everything’s ok, nothing is going to change’.”

The Taliban meanwhile has asked Unicef to temporarily pause its work in Afghanistan.

Unicef’s Chief of Communication Sam Mort is in Kabul, she says they’ve been engaging with the Taliban.

“We’re having good dialogue with them in all our offices in Afghanistan at the moment.

“They’ve asked us to momentarily pause our operations at the moment while they inform their rank and file that Unicef is impartial and neutral.

“Once that is done they’ll be able to secure our safety and we can resume operations.”

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