Public Holiday in Afghanistan in 2024

Public Holiday in Afghanistan in 2024
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  How long until Public Holiday?
Public Holiday
  Dates of Public Holiday in Afghanistan
2025 Afghanistan Sun, Aug 31 National Holiday
2024 Afghanistan Sat, Aug 31 National Holiday
2023 Afghanistan Thu, Aug 31 National Holiday
2022 Afghanistan Wed, Aug 31 National Holiday

A public holiday to commemorate the anniversary of the US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan.

When is this Holiday?

August 31st is an annual public holiday in the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan. 

The withdrawal of troops at midnight on August 31st 2022 ended America's longest war -- a military intervention that began in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York.

In June 2023, the Afghanistan government announced that the day the last US soldier left the country will be marked with an annual public holiday. 

The decision, taken by the Council of Ministers, was announced in a statement by the administration office of the Taliban interim government.

In August 2022, the Taliban had declared August 15th a national holiday to celebrate the first anniversary of its return to power in Afghanistan. Taliban fighters held a rally at Massoud Square in Kabul outside the former US embassy building. 

History of US Troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

The last American soldier, US Army Major General Chris Donahue, boarded a military transport plane shortly before the deadline for the withdrawal expired on August 31th, 2021, ending the gruelling two-decade long campaign. 

The US and its allies sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001 to fight Al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups as part of Washington’s global ‘War on Terror’ that was proclaimed following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

The Western forces quickly took Kabul, but the Taliban remained active in large swaths of the country, and the war with insurgents dragged on for many years, while the campaign was becoming more unpopular in the US.

With inconclusive negotiations between the government and the Taliban, conflicts between the parties intensified in the summer of 2021, and the Taliban began to take control of the cities one by one.

In parallel, foreign powers within NATO had accelerated the withdrawal of their troops.

The Taliban quickly recaptured several provincial capitals and seized Kabul with little to no resistance in August 2021. The unexpected fall of the city forced the Pentagon to frantically organize the evacuation of diplomats, American nationals, and their Afghan helpers.

The Taliban came to power in Afghanistan in August 2021, after the collapse of the US-backed civilian government and mass evacuations. On August 31st 2021, US forces withdrew from the country after 20 years of military presence. Since the Taliban's takeover, the Afghan population has been facing a deepening economic, humanitarian and security crisis.

Washington was criticized for the handling of the evacuation, and because, despite the airlifts from Kabul, thousands of allied Afghans were left behind.

Some 66,000 Afghan troops and 48,000 civilians were killed in the conflict, but it was the deaths of US service members -- 2,461 in total -- that became too much for the American public to bear.

More than 3,500 troops from other NATO countries were also killed.

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