Monday, 21 October, 2019

Afghan, U.S. forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

Changing realities in Afghanistan Afghan Taliban have agreed to a ceasefire, says chief negotiator
Patty Aguilar | 16 September, 2019, 16:28

Talking about Donald Trump's decision to cancel a closed meeting with the Taliban representatives at Camp David and cease contacts with this movement, the Russian spokesperson said she hopes that the current pause will not undermine the long-term efforts of the sides and the substantial progress achieved at the talks in Doha on a peace settlement in Afghanistan.

Trump told reporters at the time: "They thought that they had to kill people to put themselves in a little better negotiating position", he said, adding that "they made a big mistake".

What did Mr. Trump say? Trump also pledged to support Afghan troops in their war against the Taliban and maintain United States presence in the country for as long as there was a need for it. "Even after nine rounds of negotiations, the U.S. Special Envoy had failed to address issues of cessation of hostilities and ceasefire with the Taliban".

"The Taliban has never been hit harder than it is being hit right now".

However, it is unclear whether the talks can be resumed. On Wednesday, hours before the U.S. observed the anniversary of 9/11, the Taliban fired a rocket at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

On September 5, at least 12 people were killed-including one American soldier-and 42 wounded, in a vehicle bomb attack in Kabul.

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But fears are now growing of increased violence with presidential elections set for 28 September in Afghanistan.

It was the Taliban's first global visit following the collapse of talks with Washington. In fact, many Afghan analysts believe that this is but a phase in the negotiation process. It now controls over half of all Afghan districts, majority in rural parts of the country, regularly launching raids and suicide bombing attacks against their opponents.

The Taliban, who have validated a parallel provincial governance structure, separate from the Afghan government, denied the governor had been killed.

Meanwhile, Afghan security forces remain hopeful, yet cautious of the developing situation.

Despite President Ghani's offer in February 2018 for peace talks "without preconditions", the Taliban had until 2019 shown no interest, dismissing the peace overtures as a "conspiracy".

In the meantime, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, during a meeting of NATO Chiefs of Defense in Slovenia, said that the alliance will continue its cooperation with the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) until peace and security prevail in the country.

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