In early July, the United States government announced its decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan after a 20-year occupation.
US forces have been in the country since 2001 following the 9/11 attacks. And the withdrawal signalled an opportunity for the extremist group to renew attacks.
The Taliban began capturing urban centres (provincial capitals) and captured the capital city of Kabul on 15 August after president Ashraf Ghani fled the country joining a stampede of citizens fleeing the Taliban’s advancement.
The deadly group is in control of the Afghan capital of Kabul and has taken control of the presidential palace. There are also reports that the movement will soon proclaim the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
The group’s victory has unnerved the diplomatic community. Several countries are evacuating their diplomatic personnel from the country, the United States is also pulling out all US personnel from its embassy in Kabul, according to reports.
Afghans are also making frantic efforts to leave the country, fearing the Taliban could reimpose a brutal rule, and The US has also promised to accelerate the evacuation of thousands of Afghans eligible for U.S. Special Immigrant Visas, nearly 2,000 of whom have already arrived in the United States over the past two weeks.
The Taliban have for years pursued global acceptance, with the country under their control, they will further this course. Experts are of opinion that the development will likely throw up security concerns globally, especially with Pakistan providing support for the group. Although, the depths of possible issues cannot be said.
Akhaine Odion, a professor of Political Science at Lagos State University, argued that it would be myopic to imagine that issues of terrorism will not persist. Terrorism is a global issue, according to him and the Taliban in alliance with other radical Islamic forces will try to project Islamic fundamentalism.
“With Taliban back in Afghanistan, the triangle of terrorism is expanded,” he said.
Given the influence of Tabilan in the spread of Islamic fundamentalism, experts are also worried that the development could also trigger “a bandwagon effect” and it could embolden other Islamic fundamentalists operating elsewhere around the world, including Nigeria.
Odion argues that given the global nature of terrorism, there is no way they [other terrorist groups] will not gain some fillip from the situation in Afghanistan, and “that would mean more crisis on the global community.”
There are also concerns for Africa including Nigeria because there are groups in the continent that are Taliban-oriented, and share certain ideologies with the Taliban.
In the past few years, there has been an upsurge in Islamist insurgencies across the continent even going as far as Mozambique. Literally, all the sub-regions of Africa have some evidence of insurgent and in this case, Islamist activity, argues Richard Mamah, convener of the Annual Africa Day Colloquium in Lagos.
Mamah wants African governments to closely monitor events in Afghanistan and the effect it could have in their countries because groups like Boko Haram or ISIS would now be gingered by the Taliban victory to push harder in their areas of operation.
On global oil prices, much could not be said about the influence the Taliban-led government could have on the global market. Afghanistan consumes 35,000 barrels per day of oil as of the year 2016. It ranks 117th in the world for oil consumption, accounting for about 0.0 percent of the world’s total consumption of 97,103,871 barrels per day.
In addition, the country is not a major oil-producing economy. These put the country, now under the grip of the Islamist sect, in a position of no influence in the global oil space. However, Mamah believes that such influence, if there will be, would depend not just on Afghanistan but also on regional factors in the Arab states and how they respond.
For instance, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar are hardly on the same page. Moreover, the Taliban would need to form a proper administration and begin to push. This is the biggest task in their hands.
Having stated this, gender inequalities and hostile treatment of women could return to Afghanistan. The U.N. refugee agency says nearly 250,000 Afghans have fled their homes since the end of May amid fears the Taliban would reimpose their strict and ruthless interpretation of Islam which trampled on women’s rights.
When the fundamentalist group ruled the country for five years until the 2001 U.S.-led invasion, it denied girls education and women the right to work. It refused to let them travel outside their homes without a male relative to accompany them.
The Taliban also carried out public executions, chopped off the hands of thieves, and stoned women accused of adultery. Women have made some progress in the last 20 years, but there are fears all of those gains will be eroded with the Taliban now in power.
With antecedents like this, the group now has the huge task of winning the trust of the locals. There is also a lot of work it needs to do in terms of blending into the global environment as it continues to push for global recognition, especially because of its connection to the opium and drug trade which it has used in financing its fundamentalist agenda.