By Faith Nyasuguta
Scores of Afghan schoolgirls and staffers of the war-torn nation’s only girls boarding school will be evacuated into Rwanda.
This was revealed by the institution’s founder on Tuesday, just days after the Taliban takeover earlier in the month.
The militants have repeatedly vowed a different way of ruling considering their brutal regime in the 1990s that saw girls blocked from schooling, women tied to their homes, majority of entertainment banned with stoning and public executions considered punishments.
Despite that, Afghans have grown more desperate since the Kabul takeover on August 15 as they seek to escape the country over fears of facing life under the Taliban.
Shabana Basij-Rasikh, the founder of the privately-run School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA) revealed that nearly 250 adolescent students, faculty, staffers, and family members would decamp to Rwanda to
proceed with their education for the next many months.
“Everyone is en route, by way of Qatar, to the nation of Rwanda where we intend to begin a semester abroad for our entire student body,” she said viaTwitter.
“When circumstances on the ground permit, we hope to return home to Afghanistan.”
Rwandan government mouthpiece Yolande Makolo confirmed the news in Kigali on Tuesday.
“We welcome the SOLA community to Rwanda. We are respecting their request for privacy so there will be no further comments at this time,” she said.
The founder indicated that she had already burnt the academic records of the students in a bid to protect them and their families.
“My students, colleagues, and I are safe… But right now, there are many who aren’t or increasingly don’t feel safe. I’m broken and devastated for them,” she revealed via the school’s website.
On Tuesday the head of the United Nations rights cautioned that the Taliban’s treatment of women and girls was a “fundamental red line”.
In the same vein, Michelle Bachelet called on the militants to honor vows to respect the rights of women and girls particularly those of ethnic and religious minorities and refrain from reprisals.
“The onus is now fully on the Taliban to translate these commitments into reality,” she said during the opening of an emergency session on Afghanistan.