The ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he fled to the United Arab Emirates to avoid being killed by the Taliban, who allegedly promised they wouldn’t enter Kabul. Ghani made his first remarks Wednesday with a video posted on his Facebook page. “If I had stayed in Afghanistan, the people of Afghanistan would have witnessed the president hanged once more,” he said, referring to the Taliban’s 1996 murder of Mohammad Najibullah. He denied reports he entered the country with heaps of cash, which were partly made by an Afghan ambassador, and claimed he left the country with only his clothes. He also redirected blame away from Afghan soldiers and toward the rest of the world—and himself. “The security forces did not fail us,” he said, per The New York Times. “It was the political elite of the government and the international community who failed.”
The UAE confirmed Ghani was in the country Wednesday, saying it took him in for “humanitarian considerations,” though it did not say where in the country he was. Ghani fled Afghanistan once the Taliban reached Kabul, with initial reports claiming he went to Tajikistan and, when denied entry there, Oman.