The Taliban ceasefire on Eid al-Fitr was still respected on Monday for its second day, in exchange for the first 100 Taliban released.
For the second day in a row, the three-day surprise cease-fire that the Taliban ordered on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr on Monday May 25 in Afghanistan was still respected. For his part, President Ashraf Ghani promised Sunday to release about 2,000 rebellious prisoners.
“Arms rest is fixed. No offense has been reported so far,” spokesman Javid Faisal told AFP.
In Kunduz, a northern city that the Taliban attacked last week, locals quietly celebrated Eid, one of the most important holidays for Muslims, marking the end of Ramadan.
“Only two days ago panic began in the city,” noted Atiqullah, a Kunduz trader. “Today you go out and you feel that there are no more fights.”
“It’s really Eid now,” said Zuhai Niazi, a student from Kunduz, who said “pray that the truce will continue.”
The government released 100 Taliban prisoners from Parwan today as a gesture of goodwill to promote peace efforts, including an increased arms deal and the immediate beginning of direct talks. pic.twitter.com/i34W60FLYi
– Javid Faisal (@Javidfaisal) May 25, 2020
“The last battles took place just before the weapons of arms”
The Taliband’s instruction “not to launch offensive operations against the enemy” seems to have been respected in the South, which they largely control.
Earlier, “there were constant fighting” but “there has been no shooting since the weapons of arms,” said Haji Lal Agha, chief of police in Orzgan province.
“The last fighting took place just before the arms deal. Since then, it has been quiet,” confirmed the chief of police in Maiwand district of Kandahar province.
Interior Ministry spokesman Tareq Arian, however, spoke of a mortar attack in Laghman province, near Kabul, which killed five civilians.
Hanif Rezayee, an Army spokesman in the north, said he had attacked the Taliban on Sunday night. It was targeted at a military outpost in the province of Balkh (north), near Kunduz, which injured one of the security forces.
One hundred Taliban are released every day
The rebels, who have carried out deadly assaults on Afghan forces for weeks, surprised on Saturday by unilaterally ordering an end to the fighting so that their citizens “can celebrate in peace and comfort” Eid.
It was the first time the Taliban called themselves to abandon their weapons since an international coalition led by the United States pushed them out of power in late 2001.
President Ashraf Ghani immediately accepted the offer. In exchange, he launched on Sunday “a procedure to free up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners, in a gesture of goodwill,” according to his spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi.
According to Javid Faisal of the National Security Council, one hundred first prisoners were released in the Taliban on Monday, and a hundred others will be released each day “until they reach up to 2,000”.
These mutual release of prisoners – up to 5,000 Taliban against 1,000 members of the Afghan forces – is provided for in an agreement signed on February 29 in Doha between Washington and the Taliban, but not ratified by Kabul.
The Afghan government has so far released about 1,000 prisoners, while the uprising has released about 300.
It is the second weapon in Afghanistan since 2001. The first, on the initiative of Ashraf Ghani, had resulted in three days of cessation of fighting in June 2018, already on the occasion of Eid el-fitr.
The Taliban also respected a nine-day arms deal from February 22 to March 2 when the Doha agreement was signed.