fighting in Panchir, the Taliban postpone their government’s announcement

The Taliban again postponed, on Saturday, September 4, the announcement of the formation of their government, the composition of which could set the tone for the years to come in Afghanistan, where the new regime remains facing a pocket of armed resistance in the valley. of Panchir. Almost three weeks after the return to power of the Islamist movement of the Taliban, white smoke is still waiting in Kabul: the population remains in expectation, just like the international community.

The situation in the Panchir, one of the last centers of armed opposition to the new regime, could explain the delay in presenting the new executive, initially expected to be unveiled on Friday. A bastion historically opposed to the Taliban, this valley, landlocked and difficult to access, located about 80 kilometers north of the capital, has been the scene since Monday, the day of the departure of the last American troops from the country, of fighting between the Taliban forces and the National Resistance Front (FNR).

In Kabul, Friday evening, gusts sounded, fired to celebrate a Taliban victory in the Panchir that rumors, especially on social networks, said acquired. But the Taliban made no official announcement, and a Panchir resident told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the announcements were false.

According to the capital’s emergency services, two people were killed and twenty others injured in the joy shots, which led Taliban chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid to urge his supporters on Twitter to stop fighting. “Shoot in the air” and to “Thank God instead”.

“Resistance continues”

Refugee in the Panchir valley, former vice-president Amrullah Saleh spoke of a “Very difficult situation” in a video message broadcast on Friday evening, while ensuring that the “Continuous resistance[ait] and carry on[rait]. According to Ahmad Massoud, who leads the resistance in the valley, the Taliban have proposed to allocate two seats to the FNR in the government they want to create. And this “As we demand a better future for Afghanistan. We didn’t even consider “ their offer, added Wednesday the son of Commander Ahmed Chah Massoud, assassinated in 2001 by Al-Qaida, believing that the Taliban had “Choose the path of war”.

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Since their return to power after a lightning military offensive that caught the government and the international community by surprise, the Taliban have tried to show a moderate face and have stepped up their gestures of openness. In particular, they promised a government “Inclusive” and have established contacts in recent weeks with Afghan personalities who are opposed to them.

But nothing has filtered at this stage on their real intentions or on the place they intend to grant to representatives of the opposition or to minorities. The composition of their executive will therefore be a test of their real desire for change. Several countries repeated Friday that the new regime would be judged by its actions.

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Demand for a “truly inclusive” government

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who will be in Qatar from Monday to Wednesday, hoped the Taliban government would be “Truly inclusive”, with “Non-Taliban who would be” representative of the different communities and interests in Afghanistan.

Pakistani military intelligence chief Faiz Hameed was seen in Kabul on Saturday, where he is likely to speak with senior Taliban officials with whom Islamabad has close ties.

Long awaited on the issue of women’s rights – the international community keeping in mind the brutality towards them during the first Taliban regime (1996-2001) – the new masters of the country assured that these rights would be respected.

But at the same time they hinted that there might be no female ministers, their presence falling more on the lower echelons. A perspective against which several activists protested in Herat on Thursday.

Kabul airport soon operational, according to Qatar

In Kabul on Saturday, dozens of women also demonstrated for the second day in a row. Present there, Taliban fighters were trying to disperse the rally and prevent people at the scene from filming the scene with their mobile phones, according to images posted on social networks.

Beyond security issues, whether related to the Panchir Valley or the threat from the local branch of the Islamic State organization, the urgency for the new regime will be above all economic. Ravaged by more than four decades of conflict, the Afghan economy is in tatters, deprived of international aid on which it largely depends and which has largely been frozen. “Afghanistan faces imminent humanitarian catastrophe”, warned the UN on Friday, which will hold a meeting between member states on September 13 in Geneva to increase humanitarian aid to the country.

At the forefront of international negotiations with the Taliban, Qatar has declared for its part that it hopes to see “Humanitarian corridors” at Afghan airports in the next 48 hours. The Ambassador of Qatar in Afghanistan, quoted Saturday by the Al-Jazeera channel, reported that a technical team was able to reopen the Kabul airport, which will soon be operational to receive humanitarian aid and civilian flights.

According to the diplomat, the runway at the airport in the Afghan capital has been repaired, in cooperation with the country’s authorities. The Qatari news channel mentioned the resumption of domestic flights from Kabul to the cities of Mazar-e Sharif and Kandahar.

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The World with AFP