Afghanistan: Taliban breaks off ‘fruitless’ prisoner exchange talks
08 April 2020 | 9:27 am
The success of the US-brokered peace pact in Afghanistan is dependent on a prisoner swap between the Afghan government and the Taliban. The Taliban has said they will no longer take part in these "fruitless meetings."
India fears that a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan would benefit Pakistan. The government is trying to protect its strategic interests.
Amid a mounting economic crisis, the Taliban has pledged to pay three months' worth of lost wages to public employees. The group boasted of new revenue, but did not specify where it came from.
Kabul residents on Tuesday said the first 100 days after the Taliban takeover had been difficult, expressing ongoing concerns about security and girls' education.
Humanitarian workers are racing against time to deliver aid as winter looms in Afghanistan, UN officials told DW. The situation on the ground is already desperate and "looks like it's going to get worse."
At least one person has been killed in an explosion in Kabul. The largely Shiite neighborhood has previously been targeted by attacks by the Islamic State-Khorasan group.
The Taliban government leader asked for international aid and access to about $10 billion in funds frozen after the insurgents took over the country in August. The UN is warning half the country could starve this winter.
By imposing new restrictions on the media and female actors, the Taliban have once again reaffirmed their misogynistic ideology, rights advocates have said.
Panjshir Valley became known as the last bastion of the anti-Taliban resistance as the militants swept to power in Afghanistan in August. But it was only a matter of weeks before Panjshir too would fall into Taliban control. Once a bustling hub of activity, Panjshir is now largely deserted. The few residents who have stayed are now under constant surveillance, and are struggling to survive amid a crippling economic crisis. Sonia Ghezali, Shahzaib Wahlah and Solène Chalvon Fioriti report.
The Taliban have promised to end the practice of young girls being sold off to pay debts. However, the Islamist fundamentalists have not clarified how they intend to implement the decree.
Human Rights Watch says that more than 100 former Afghan security personnel have disappeared or been killed by the Taliban since they came to power in August. The actual number could be much higher than that.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the Foreign Affairs Committee that the previous presidency left Joe Biden little choice but to complete the withdrawal. Republicans called it "an unmitigated disaster."
For almost a decade, international forces in Mali have been trying to help fight Islamist groups that threatened to take over the country in 2012. But today, the government still only controls the capital and a small area around it. DW's Fred Muvunyi reports.
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