Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid [centre]. Source: Reuters
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  • The UK and Canada are among the countries which have announced schemes to resettle Afghan refugees after the Taliban seized their country
  • Uganda, a nation in East Africa already hosting 1.3 million refugees — mostly from South Sudan — has agreed to temporarily host 2000 Afghan refugees
  • The Australian Defence Force has sent a rescue flight to Kabul and is looking to evacuate up to 600 Australians and Afghans in the coming days
  • In its first press conference, the Taliban has claimed it will assure the security of foreign embassies and representatives
  • A Taliban spokesperson says it will “allow women to work and study within certain frameworks” and it has pardoned “all those who fought against us”

The UK has joined Canada in announcing a new scheme to resettle Afghan refugees after the Taliban seized Kabul and took control of the country.

The UK government has promised to resettle up to 20,000 Afghans within a few years, including 5000 in the first year. The scheme is in addition to an existing arrangement for people who worked for the UK.

Uganda, which already hosts 1.3 million refugees — mostly from South Sudan, has also agreed to a request from the US to take in Afghan refugees.

The temporary arrangement will see the East African nation host 2000 people from Afghanistan for three months before the US resettles them elsewhere.

The exodus continues

Thousands of people are reported to have fled across the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan so far this week.

Meanwhile at the international airport in Kabul, evacuation flights have resumed. Chaotic scenes of civilians trying desperately to get onto planes have circulated around the world.

Germany is drawing massive criticism for evacuating seven people on a 200-person military plane after the US evacuated 640 on a plane built to carry 134 people.

The Australian Defence Force has sent a rescue flight to Kabul and is looking to evacuate up to 600 Australians and Afghans in the coming days.

The Taliban holds first press conference

In the Taliban’s first press conference, spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid sought the stem panic and stated the Islamic Emirate did not want any internal or external enemies.

“We don’t want to repeat any conflict anymore again,” he said. “We want to do away with the factors for conflict. Therefore, the Islamic Emirate does not have any kind of hostility or animosity with anybody; animosities have come to an end and we would like to live peacefully.”

The spokesperson added the Taliban would not seek out anyone who had been associated with US or allied missions.

“I would like to assure all the compatriots, whether they were translators, whether they were with military activities or whether they were civilians, all of them have been important. Nobody is going to be treated with revenge,” he said.

“We would like to assure you that nobody is going to knock on their door to inspect them, to ask them or to interrogate them as to who they have been working for or interpreting for.”

When asked by reporters about the rights of women and girls, Mr Mujahid said the government would allow women to work and study “within certain frameworks”.

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