Thousands of prominent Afghans on Sunday approved the release of 400 Taliban prisoners accused of serious crimes, such as participating in terrorist attacks that killed many Afghans and foreigners, in order to “remove obstacles” to start peace negotiations.
“In order to remove obstacles to initiate peace negotiations, stop bloodshed and for the good of the population, the jirga (assembly) approves the release of 400 prisoners as requested by the Taliban,” announced Atefa Tayeb, a member of the same, which brings together tribal elders and other prominent men who have the last word on controversial issues.
Foreigners who are among the prisoners will be delivered to their respective countries, says the approved resolution.
“The loya jirga’s decision removed the last excuse and obstacles in the way of peace negotiations. We are close to peace negotiations,” said Abdullah Abdullah, who was appointed by the government to lead the Taliban negotiations. .
The fate of the prisoners has been a major obstacle to the start of peace negotiations between the two warring parties, who have agreed to hold a prisoner exchange before the negotiations begin.
The Afghan government has released 5,000 Taliban, but the authorities were reluctant to release the Taliban’s required prisoners.
According to an official list consulted by AFP, many prisoners are accused of serious crimes and more than 150 are on death row.
The list also includes a group of 44 insurgents who raise concerns from the United States and other countries for their role in “high-level” attacks.
However, the US Secretary of State, Pompeo, called for the release of the detainees, although the decision was “unpopular”.
us / ecl / qan / af / zm