In the spotlight: the noose tightens around Kabul airport

Audio 04:25

Afghans gather at the side of a road near Kabul airport on August 20, 2021, hoping to flee the country after the Taliban took military control of Afghanistan.


By: Frédéric Couteau Follow

11 mins


Kabul airport in a state of trap,

 " exclaims


. “ 

In one week, nearly 25,000 people took the airlift out of Afghanistan. But many panicked families continue to flock to the site, where they often find themselves trapped by the Taliban.

(…) Every day, cargo planes carry thousands of people, and return to look for thousands of others, forming an airlift which constitutes "one of the most important and difficult evacuations in history", according to President Joe Biden. "The Americans want to leave 60,000

people before the end of the month. It is mathematically impossible", judged Saturday the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell.


In any case, notes

Le Figaro

, “ 

thousands of panicked people keep flocking to a totally congested airport.

The Islamist militiamen who control the surroundings of the place, up to the foot of the perimeter wall, shoot in the air and administer lashes, blocking the access.

(…) The violence provokes dangerous movements of panic,

further points out

Le Figaro


Images shot by Sky News showed the bodies of at least three people, presumably crushed by the crowd who pressed against the entrance gates.

Seven Afghans died in this gigantic crush said Sunday the British Ministry of Defense.

In total, the evacuation operations have already claimed 20 victims, according to NATO.


Dark mess

Commentary on the

Latest Alsace News

 : “ 

The accelerated fall of Kabul and the airport tragedy will mark the Biden presidency with a black stone.

(…) The President of the United States wanted to give the image of a power finally mature and responsible.

He is not far from showing the contrary.

Against all his promises and expectations, the American guarantor of a form of peace gives way to the darkest disorder.

We flee the capital in the din of gunfire and helicopters dispatched to the rooftops.

The Taliban themselves are annoyed, as the spectacle thwarts their attempts to present themselves in a reassuring light.


Joséphine Baker: icon of French diversity

Also on the front page: Joséphine Baker in the Pantheon… “ 

The singer of the review will therefore join the cohort of“ great men ”,

points out

La Voix du Nord


in a Pantheon intended to show them the recognition of the motherland. The entry of Josephine Baker saves the institution from its heavy uniformity.

 " Indeed, " 

she was not a man, she was not born in France in an environment favoring the greatest ambitions, she had not wiped the benches of the greatest schools, she did not leave a scientific or literary work. She was a free woman, endowed with a strength of character that made her challenge convention, contradict racial and social determinism, armed with a courage that led her to risk her life in the service of the Resistance.



first black woman to enter the Pantheon, Joséphine Baker has spent her life denouncing racism and segregation,

also notes

La Charente Libre


She was a determined resistance fighter against the Nazis, a free woman, an artist proud of her origins, an activist who never stopped proclaiming her love for France.

All the boxes were ticked for her to become an icon of French diversity, which she had pushed to its limits by adopting twelve children from different countries and continents.


Economy: green indicators

Finally, " 

the economy is better: it is the pleasant surprise of the return

 ", trumpets

Le Parisien

on the front page. “ 

We were promised blood and tears. The return to the economic front will finally be under good auspices. The indicators that fell this summer are fueling optimism in the business world. Once again well aligned, unemployment is down with a rate of 8

%, employment has returned to its pre-crisis level. INSEE is now counting on growth of 6

% in 2021. The failures of chain companies have not taken place. French purchases, according to bank card data, are very dynamic

: total spending across all sectors was around 17% higher.

% compared to 2019 over the period from August 2 to 8.


In short, comments

Le Parisien

, " 

good surprises which should encourage us to give in less easily to a sinistrosis that has become a national sport."



Receive all international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • France

  • Newspaper

  • Afghanistan

  • Economy

  • Music