the Taliban propose three months of ceasefire against the release of 7,000 prisoners

The Taliban have proposed a three-month ceasefire in exchange for the release of 7,000 of their prisoners by the Afghan authorities, said, Thursday (July 15), Nader Nadery, a member of the government negotiating team. the insurgents.

Asked about the offer, a Taliban spokesperson said he did not “To be aware of any plans for a three-month ceasefire”. More “During Eid [el-Adha, qui dure trois jours, à partir du 20 juillet], the leaders [talibans] could consider a ceasefire ”, he added.

The Taliban’s offer carries “A considerable requirement”Nadery told reporters, adding that the Taliban are also demanding that the names of the movement’s leaders be removed from a ” blacklist “ de l’ON.

Without commenting on the follow-up given to this offer from the Taliban, he stressed that the previous release of 5,000 of them last year, which was the condition set for the opening of inter-Afghan talks, had already been “A difficult requirement” to fill, and then “The violence had not stopped and on the contrary had increased”.

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Control of key border posts

Talks between the Afghan government and the rebels have stalled since their inception in September in Qatar’s capital Doha.

The Taliban have seized large portions of rural Afghan territory over the past two months, following an offensive launched in parallel with the final withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, which began in early May and is expected to end by here at the end of August.

Deprived of crucial American support, the Afghan forces offered little resistance and essentially controlled only the provincial capitals and the main roads. The Taliban have notably taken control of key border posts, with Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and, since Wednesday, Pakistan, the access route to the ocean for Afghanistan, a landlocked country.

On Thursday, they patrolled the strategic locality of Spin Boldak, taken the day before, now controlling the key axis connecting the border post with Pakistan nearby to Kandahar, the large city in southern Afghanistan, about a hundred kilometers away. . The Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan confirmed Thursday that the Taliban had taken control of the border post.

Uncontrollable crowd

“The market is closed, and traders are afraid that the situation will turn badly”, explained Mohammad Rasoul, a resident of Spin Boldak, about thirty kilometers from the border. At the Weish border post, on the Afghan side, the Taliban’s white banner still floated on Thursday, which replaced the Afghan flag the day before, noted a correspondent for Agence France-Presse on the Pakistani side of the border.

This crossing point leads to the Pakistani province of Balochistan (southwest), reputed to house part of the Taliban leadership, in the Pakistani city of Quetta, and to receive the wounded Taliban who are being treated there.

It also connects Afghanistan to the road leading to the large Pakistani port of Karachi, on the shores of the Arabian Sea.

On the other side of the border, at the post of Chaman, the Pakistani border guards dispersed Thursday, by throwing tear gas canisters, a crowd of people massed at the border – completely closed since Wednesday -, eager to enter Afghanistan .

“An uncontrollable crowd of about 400 people tried to force their way through” the border, “They threw stones, which forced us to use tear gas”, said an official of the security forces of the station of Chaman, who requested anonymity. According to him, about 1,500 people are massed on the Pakistani side of the border, waiting since Wednesday to cross into Afghanistan.

“We had to charge with batons, because people were getting out of hand”, confirmed another border official, also on condition of anonymity. A senior government official in Chaman, Jumadad Khan, claimed the situation was now ” under control “.

A source within the Taliban said around 100 people were also gathered on the Afghan side of the border, hoping to enter Pakistan. “We are discussing with the Pakistani authorities. A formal meeting is scheduled today (Thursday), and we hope [que la frontière] will be open within a day or two ”, he said.

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The World with AFP