Afghanistan: the first day of the truce in view of possible talks

Afghanistan: premier jour de la trêve en vue de possibles pourparlers

Kabul | A cease fire of three days between the afghan government and the taliban began on Friday, a rare moment of respite which, many hope, could lead to peace talks that are historical between the two camps.

The truce, which will last three days on the occasion of the celebrations of the Eid al-Adha, is the third in the nearly 19 years of war.

“This is a historic opportunity for peace, and no one should spoil it”, said to AFP Zemarai Sediqqi, a teacher of 26 years. “I grew up in this conflict, it is enough. Now it is time for a sustainable peace”.

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani and the taliban have hinted that the talks could begin after Eid.

These negotiations interafghanes were originally scheduled to take place from the 10th of march, but this date has been exceeded in part due to a stagnation of the process of exchange of prisoners, the completion of which is required as a prerequisite by the rebels.

This release by afghan authorities of 5, 000 insurgents, and the taliban of 1 000 members of the security forces, is almost at its end.

The rebels announced Thursday evening have done their part, with a total of 1.005 released prisoners, while Kabul has already released at least 4 400 prisoners.

The afghan government has, however, alerted that some of the prisoners that the taliban are demanding the release are too dangerous to be released.

If they stopped their attacks against Washington since the signing of the agreement the american-taliban, the insurgents have increased their violence against the afghan forces, killing also many civilians.

According to Mr Ghani, over 3 500 members of the afghan forces, and nearly 800 civilians have been killed since the agreement.

The un Mission in Afghanistan (Unama) has attributed the majority of civilian casualties in the first half of 2020 to attacks from the taliban.

For many Afghans, exhausted by the violence without an end, a truce of three days is not sufficient.

“We want a cease-fire standing by the taliban to not see a single Afghan killed in this war”, said to AFP Ahmad Jawed, a university graduate.

After the two previous truces in 2018 and may 2020 the taliban had returned immediately on the field of battle.

“If they want peace, they should lay down their weapons and to begin immediately discussions with the afghan government,” wrote on Twitter Farhad Habibi on Facebook.

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