On Tuesday, August 10th, the US sent a peace envoy to warn the Taliban. They say any government that comes into power by force will not concede internationally. This warning results from the recent attacks from the insurgent group that led to their victory over multiple cities.
The US peace envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, traveled to Qatar. He informed the group that there is no point in pursuing power on the battlefield. A military takeover of the capital of Kabul would stamp them as global outcasts.
US and NATO forces continue to withdraw from the war-torn country. Khalilzad hopes to persuade the Taliban leaders to reopen peace talks with the Afghan government.
The Taliban have taken over five out of 34 provincial capitals in the country in less than a week. The Afghan government and the Taliban are fighting to control several other capitals, including Lashkar Gah in Helmand.
Seeing how easy it was for the insurgent group to take over the five capitals… Many are questioning the 20 years and billions of dollars spent on training and shoring up Afghan forces. The fighting has been mainly up to elite Afghan forces and their air force.
The Taliban’s victory has added more urgency to re-visit talks that could end the fighting. As well as move Afghanistan toward an inclusive interim administration.
According to the US State Department, the US peace envoy’s mission in Qatar is to “help formulate a joint international response to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.”
Khalilzad plans to “press the Taliban to stop their military offensive and to negotiate a political settlement.” He says this is the only path to stability and development in Afghanistan.
Taliban Ordered To Not Harm
Through Twitter, the Taliban military chief released an audio message on Tuesday. He ordered his forces not to harm Afghan troops and government officials in territories they conquer. The recording was shared by the Taliban spokesman in Doha, Mohammad Naim.
Also, in the recording, the son of late Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, Mohammad Yaqoob, told the insurgents to stay out of abandoned homes of government and security officials who have fled. He also ordered them to leave marketplaces open and protect places of business.
According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, in their 15 facilities across the country, they have treated more than 4,000 Afghans in August.
“We are seeing homes destroyed, medical staff and patients put at tremendous risk, and hospitals, electricity, and water infrastructure damaged… The use of explosive weaponry in cities is having an indiscriminate impact on the population… Many families have no option but to flee in search of a safer place. This must stop,” said Eloi Fillion, ICRC’s head of delegation in Afghanistan.
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