In an interview about the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, David Martinon, the French ambassador to Afghanistan, stated that more than 100 districts fell to the Taliban without a battle or a shot being fired by the Taliban. The Afghan army had given up fighting while the Taliban were only opening the doors.
The French envoy in an interview with Radio France Internationale (RFI) stated that “the Taliban were only opening the doors, and the Afghan army had given up battling.”
Due to widespread corruption and embezzlement, the Afghan national army in the outposts had no pay, food, or equipment, allowing the Taliban to take over 100 districts and major provinces without firing a single shot.
When questioned if corruption was the sole cause for districts falling to the Taliban insurgent group, he replied, “There can’t be only one reason.”
According to the French diplomat, a major reason was that the Afghan people lost faith in democracy after Afghanistan held four presidential elections, all of which were rigged or manipulated, referring to the most recent presidential elections in which president Ghani was declared triumphant.
The French envoy to Afghanistan, Ambassador Martinon, who continues to serve in that capacity remotely from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris, claimed that he never believed the Taliban wanted to negotiate before they overthrew the republican government.
The Taliban were merely acting out these “false negotiations” to “save time and to show the American side that the group is fulfilling their commitment according to the Doha agreement,” he said.
The French ambassador revealed that he was not surprised by President Ghani’s evacuation, but that he was shocked when it became clear that Ghani had left his staff behind, including his chief of staff. “They were not even invited to the helicopter . . . which is sort of crazy,” he remarked.
When asked if Ghani stayed and what could have been an alternative to the escape of the former Afghan president Ghani, Ambassador Martinon said that he does not think Ghani’s presence would have “changed the game.”
He asserted that to him, former president Ghani’s escape was “a consequence rather than a cause.”
With over 100 French soldiers killed on Afghan soil, €120 million in financial assistance for the 2021 and 2022 years, and an overall 5,000 Afghan nationals evacuated from Afghanistan to France, the French ambassador stated that despite France having no interests in Afghanistan, it wants a better future for the people of Afghanistan.