Saturday, 26 September, 2020

Afghan conflict: President Ashraf Ghani rejects Taliban prisoner release



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AFP

Picture caption

An believed 10,000 Taliban prisoners are being held in Afghan jails

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani suggests his federal government has not pledged to free of charge Taliban prisoners, as mentioned in a offer reached by the US and the militants.

Less than the landmark agreement signed on Saturday in Qatar, 5,000 Taliban would be launched in trade for up to 1,000 govt detainees by 10 March.

Mr Ghani said these kinds of a prisoner release “simply cannot be a prerequisite for talks”, but ought to be portion of negotiations.

The US-Taliban agreement incorporates a phased withdrawal of US troops.

In return, the challenging-line Islamist team agreed to maintain peace talks with the Afghan government.

The offer also commits the Taliban to stop al-Qaeda and all other extremist teams from working in the regions they regulate.

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Reuters

Impression caption

President Ghani is not eager to give up Taliban prisoners swiftly

The US invaded Afghanistan months following the September 2001 assaults in New York by al-Qaeda, then centered in Afghanistan. The Taliban have been ousted from electric power but became an insurgent pressure that by 2018 was active in far more than two-thirds of the nation.

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What did Ghani say?

Significantly less than 24 hours following the deal was signed in Doha, the Afghan president explained to reporters in Kabul: “The reduction in violence will go on with a goal to access a complete ceasefire.”

But he included: “There is no commitment to releasing 5,000 prisoners.

“This is the suitable and the self-will of the folks of Afghanistan. It could be included in the agenda of the intra-Afghan talks, but are unable to be a prerequisite for talks.”

Any prisoner release, he extra, was “not in the authority of the US” but “in the authority of the Afghan government”.

An believed 10,000 captured Taliban are remaining held in Afghanistan.

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Media captionTens of thousands of Afghan soldiers have been killed and hurt. This is their tale

Bumpy highway

What transpires to the Taliban prisoners in Afghan jails was always heading to be a challenging challenge. For the insurgents, possessing them introduced is a vital target. The Afghan government, however, understands that, and is reluctant to enjoy the card much too early – without having extracting any concession in return.

As one Afghan official set it to me: “They want their prisoners, we want a ceasefire.”

The confusion in excess of their destiny stems in part from a difference in language involving a assertion released by the US on Saturday in Kabul, and the US-Taliban agreement.

The deal reached in Doha states that the US will “get the job done with all related sides on a strategy to expeditiously release” prisoners, prior to incorporating that the release will take place by the 10th March start of “intra-Afghan talks”.

Nonetheless, the US-Afghan joint declaration produced on the similar working day simply just states the US will facilitate involving the authorities and Taliban on the “feasibility” of prisoner launch.

What does the offer indicate for the US?

Much more than 2,400 American troops have been killed during the conflict. About 12,000 are nevertheless stationed in the country.

The US and its Nato allies have agreed to withdraw all troops inside 14 months if the militants uphold the offer.

US President Donald Trump, who experienced promised to close the Afghan conflict, claimed on Saturday that it was “time to carry our men and women back home”.

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Media captionTrump: “It is been a hard journey for everyone”

Mr Trump claimed 5,000 US troops would leave Afghanistan by Might and he would satisfy Taliban leaders in the in the vicinity of long term.

He extra that US troops experienced been killing militants in Afghanistan “by the thousands” and now it was “time for a person else to do that work and it will be the Taliban and it could be encompassing countries”.

Virtually 3,500 members of the worldwide coalition forces have died in Afghanistan given that the 2001 invasion.

The figures for Afghan civilians, militants and governing administration forces are extra tough to quantify. In a February 2019 report, the UN explained that much more than 32,000 civilians experienced died.

The Watson Institute at Brown University claims 58,000 protection personnel and 42,000 opposition combatants have been killed.

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