Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani flees to UAE

UAE Foreign Ministry says it has welcomed Ashraf Ghani and his family after he fled Afghanistan 'on humanitarian grounds.'

Gary Willig ,

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani (R) meets US Sec. of State Antony Blinken in Kabul
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani (R) meets US Sec. of State Antony Blinken in Kabul
Presidential Palace via Reuters

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who fled Afghanistan as the Taliban were about to seize Kabul on Sunday, is currently living in the United Arab Emirates, the UAE’s Foreign Ministry revealed on Wednesday.

“The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation can confirm that the UAE has welcomed President Ashraf Ghani and his family into the country on humanitarian grounds,” the ministry said in a statement.

Ghani snuck out of the presidential palace on Sunday and fled the country with a helicopter full of cash, according to the Russian embassy in Kabul. It was unclear which country he fled to.

It remains unclear whether any nations assisted in Ghani's escape.

Ghani left a note claiming he had fled for the good of his countrymen. “If I had stayed, countless of my countrymen would be martyred and Kabul would face destruction and turn into ruins that could result to a human catastrophe for its six million residents,” he wrote.

However, experts say that Ghani's sudden exit hurt attempts at negotiations to ensure a smooth and peaceful transfer of power.

While the Taliban has promised to protect the rights of civilians and women within the limits of Sharia law, reports and images have emerged from Afghanistan of of brutality and killings against civilians and prisoners from the Afghan military. In one case, a woman was reportedly shot and killed because she did not wear a hijab.

Thousands of desperate Afghan citizens gathered at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, hoping to escape on western military planes evacuating western diplomatic and military personnel. 3 people who held on to the outside of American aircraft died after the aircraft took off, two falling to their deaths. The body of another man was found inside the landing gear of a different plane.



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