1 of 3Afghan protesters hold placards and shout slogans against U.S. during a protest condemning President Joe Biden’s decision, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022. President Biden signed an executive order, Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, to create a pathway to split $7 billion in Afghan assets frozen in the U.S. to fund humanitarian relief in Afghanistan and to create a trust fund to compensate Sept. 11 victims. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Demonstrators in Afghanistan’s capital on Saturday condemned President Joe Biden’s order freeing up $3.5 billion in Afghan assets held in the U.S. for families of America’s 9/11 victims — saying the money belongs to Afghans.
Protesters who gathered outside Kabul’s grand Eid Gah mosque asked America for financial compensation for the tens of thousands of Afghans killed during the last 20 years of war in Afghanistan.
Biden’s order, signed Friday, allocates another $3.5 billion in Afghan assets for humanitarian aid to a trust fund to be managed by the U.N. to provide aid to Afghans. The country’s economy is teetering on the brink of collapse after international money stopped coming into Afghanistan with the arrival in mid-August of the Taliban.
Afghanistan’s Central Bank called on Biden to reverse his order and release the funds to it, saying in a statement Saturday that they belonged to the people of Afghanistan and not a government, party or group.
Torek Farhadi, a financial adviser to Afghanistan’s former U.S.-backed government, questioned the U.N. managing Afghan Central Bank reserves. He said those funds are not meant for humanitarian aid but “to back up the country’s currency, help in monetary policy and manage the country’s balance of payment.”
He also questioned the legality of Biden’s order.
“These reserves belong to the people of Afghanistan, not the Taliban … Biden’s decision is one-sided and does not match with international law,” said Farhadi. “No other country on Earth makes such confiscation decisions about another country’s reserves.”
White House officials said there is no simple way to make all the frozen assets available quickly to the Afghan people.
Afghans protest US move to unfreeze $3.5B for 9/11 victims Associated Press add_filter( ‘feedzy_content’, ‘feedzy_content_from_desc’ );