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World Afghan council to decide fate of 400 Taliban prisoners

09:06  07 august  2020
09:06  07 august  2020 Source:   aljazeera.com

Afghan gov't, Taliban agree Eid al-Adha ceasefire

  Afghan gov't, Taliban agree Eid al-Adha ceasefire Three-day truce could signal start of peace talks after President Ghani said negotiations could start next week.The move, announced on Tuesday, could signal the start of the long-delayed peace talks after President Ashraf Ghani signalled negotiations with the Taliban could start next week.

Afghanistan will convene a grand assembly of elders, known as the Loya Jirga, in Kabul on Friday to decide whether the last 400 Taliban prisoners will be An agreement by US and Taliban negotiators in Doha in February stipulates that 5,000 Taliban prisoners should be released from Afghan jails as

The Afghan government on Monday decided to hold a grand consultative "Loya Jirga" on the fate of 400 Taliban prisoners that the insurgents insist must These 400 inmates are on the government’s "black list" for their "serious crimes," and the US has approved that direct talks between the Taliban

a man standing in front of a snow covered street: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Afghans to free the Taliban prisoners [File: Mohammad Ismail/Reuters] © [File: Mohammad Ismail/Reuters] US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Afghans to free the Taliban prisoners [File: Mohammad Ismail/Reuters]

Afghanistan will convene a grand assembly of elders, known as the Loya Jirga, in Kabul on Friday to decide whether the last 400 Taliban prisoners will be released as part of a peace agreement signed between the armed group and the United States.

An agreement by US and Taliban negotiators in Doha in February stipulates that 5,000 Taliban prisoners should be released from Afghan jails as a precondition to the armed group entering peace talks with the internationally-recognised government.

Afghan ceasefire holds as hundreds of Taliban prisoners freed

  Afghan ceasefire holds as hundreds of Taliban prisoners freed A rare ceasefire between the Taliban and Afghan government appeared to hold for the third and final day on Sunday, with hundreds of militant prisoners released in a bid to bring peace talks closer. Calm prevailed across much of Afghanistan, with officials not reporting any major clashes between the two foes since the truce began on Friday to mark the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban have both indicated that long-delayed negotiations could begin straight after Eid."This Eid feels different, parks are full with people...

The Afghan government will seek suggestions for the fate of 400 Taliban prisoners from the Loya Jirga, officials of the President Ghani on Friday said he does not have the constitutional authority to release the 400 prisoners and, therefore, will convene a Loya Jirga to decide on the inmates.

The government of Afghanistan will convene a grand assembly of elders, known as a loya jirga, in Kabul on Friday. The centuries-old institution will decide the fate of hundreds of A pact reached by US and Taliban negotiators in Doha in February had agreed that 5,000 Taliban prisoners should be

President Ashraf Ghani's government has released all but 400, saying their crimes were too grave.

On Sunday, it declared a Loya Jirga, a traditional consultative gathering of elders, community leaders and politicians, was needed to debate what to do with the remaining prisoners.

"These 400 are those who have been convicted in killings from two to 40 people, drug trafficking, those sentenced to death and involved in major crimes, including kidnapping," Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for the president, said.

Pompeo urges release of prisoners

According to Sediqqi, the council to be attended by 3,200 people will also decide "what kind of peace it wants".

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani government has released all but 400, saying their crimes were too grave [File: Rahmat Gul/AP Photo]

Ahead of the Loya Jirga, Human Rights Watch cautioned that many of the prisoners had been jailed under "overly broad terrorism laws that provide for indefinite preventive detention".

Prison raid mars relative calm in Afghanistan after ceasefire

  Prison raid mars relative calm in Afghanistan after ceasefire At least 29 people have been killed in a raid on an Afghan prison claimed by the Islamic State group, officials said Monday, as the country waited to see if a government ceasefire with the Taliban would rupture after its formal expiration. Fighting was still raging at the jail in the eastern city of Jalalabad, where some 1,700 IS and Taliban inmates were being held. IS's news outlet Amaq said its fighters were behind the raid, which saw hundreds of inmates escape before many of them were recaptured.

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan will convene a grand assembly of elders, known as the loya jirga, in Kabul on Friday to decide the fate of hundreds of A pact reached by U.S. and Taliban negotiators in Doha in February had agreed that 5,000 Taliban prisoners should be released from Afghan jails as

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan will convene a grand assembly of elders, known as the loya jirga, in Kabul on Friday to decide the fate of hundreds of A pact reached by U.S. and Taliban negotiators in Doha in February had agreed that 5,000 Taliban prisoners should be released from Afghan jails as

"Secret trials and torture to coerce confessions may make it impossible to determine which prisoners actually committed serious crimes," it said.

The Taliban freed the 1,000 prisoners it was holding and US and NATO soldiers already started withdrawing troops in line with the February agreement that the Trump administration pushed as part of the Republican president's election promise to bring the troops back.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Afghans to free the Taliban prisoners, promising help if the war-torn nation moves forward on peace efforts.

"We acknowledge that the release of these prisoners is unpopular," Pompeo said in a statement.

The Taliban is demanding the release of 400 prisoners as a condition to start peace talks with the internationally-recognised government in Kabul [File: Anadolu]

"But this difficult action will lead to an important result long sought by Afghans and Afghanistan's friends: reduction of violence and direct talks resulting in a peace agreement and an end to the war."

Afghan peace talks close after Taliban prisoner release approved

  Afghan peace talks close after Taliban prisoner release approved The Afghan government and the Taliban are "on the verge" of peace talks, after thousands of prominent Afghans approved the release of about 400 contentious militant prisoners, Kabul's lead negotiator said Sunday. The resolution was passed at the end of a three-day "loya jirga" -- a traditional Afghan meeting of tribal elders and other stakeholders sometimes held to decide on controversial issues. "In order to remove the hurdles for the start of peace talks, stopping bloodshed, and for the good of the public, the jirga approves the release of 400 prisoners as demanded by the Taliban," jirga member Atefa Tayeb announced.

Afghanistan will convene a grand assembly of elders, known as the loya jirga, in Kabul on Friday to decide the fate of hundreds of prisoners the A pact reached by U.S. and Taliban negotiators in Doha in February had agreed that 5,000 Taliban prisoners should be released from Afghan jails as

Afghanistan will convene a grand assembly of elders, known as the loya jirga, in Kabul on Friday to decide the fate of hundreds of prisoners the A pact reached by U.S. and Taliban negotiators in Doha in February had agreed that 5,000 Taliban prisoners should be released from Afghan jails as

In a statement the top US diplomat told Afghan leaders that the Taliban was committed to reducing violence after talks start. "The United States intends to hold the Taliban to these commitments," Pompeo said.

Peace process

Earlier this week, Pompeo held a video call with Taliban chief negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar to discuss the Afghan peace process.

The Taliban said it is ready to hold negotiations within a week of the last prisoners being released to move the peace process forward. They also agreed to a three-day ceasefire over a Muslim holiday that ended on Sunday at midnight.

The UN secretary-general's special representative to Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, also held a meeting with Baradar on Wednesday, according to a tweet from Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen.

While there has been no announcement of a continued ceasefire, there have been no reports of large scale military attacks by the Taliban against the Afghan military.

The Taliban has also not attacked US or NATO troops since the February signing of the deal with the US.

The council is being held even as the government's health minister, Jawad Osmani, in a briefing this week said a survey suggested at least half of Kabul's population has been infected with the coronavirus and at least 10 million people - or a third of all Afghans - have been infected.

The official figures are much lower at nearly 37,000 confirmed cases since Kabul began keeping statistics in March.

Afghan women's rights trailblazer survives gun attack .
Trailblazing Afghan women's rights campaigner Fawzia Koofi, a member of the negotiating team that will hold peace talks with the Taliban, has been wounded in a gun attack near Kabul, officials said Saturday. Gunmen opened fire on Koofi, 45, and her sister on Friday when they were returning from a meeting in the province of Parwan near the capital, interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian told AFP. Koofi, a former member of parliament and strong critic of the Taliban, was shot in her right hand, he said, adding that she was in a stable condition.The Taliban denied they were involved in the attack on Koofi.

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