Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Afghanistan: Kabul releases Taliban

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A soldier at a checkpoint outside the Parwan Detention Center in Bagram
Image: Reuters

Hundreds of members of the insurgents were released from a detention center north of the capital. They had previously “sworn an oath that they would never return to the battlefield,” it says.

I.In Afghanistan, the government has started the long controversial release of Taliban fighters. According to a statement by the National Security Council, a hundred detained relatives of the insurgents were released from the Parwan detention center in Bagram north of the capital Kabul on Wednesday. According to the release, they were on the list of 5000 names of prisoners the Taliban had transmitted; the release was based on state of health, age and remaining detention and was “part of our efforts to achieve peace and containment of Covid-19”.

Security Council spokesman Javid Faisal wrote on Twitter that the freedmen had previously “sworn an oath that they would never return to the battlefield.” The government has also received such assurances from the Taliban representatives in Qatar.

The Taliban and the Afghan government had been struggling for more than a month for the prisoner exchange that the Islamists and the United States agreed in their February 29 agreement to precede the Afghan peace negotiations.

Last week representatives of the Taliban and the Afghan government officially met in Kabul for the first time and discussed the release of the prisoners. The Taliban announced on Tuesday that it would withdraw its delegation after fruitless talks. Both sides then blamed each other for the failure of the preliminary talks.

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