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article imageTaliban and Afghan government agree to ceasefire over holiday

By Ken Hanly     Jul 29, 2020 in Politics
The Taliban and Afghan government have negotiated a three day ceasefire over the Eid al-Adha holiday this weekend according to an announcement Tuesday. The ceasefire was said to be part of negotiations between the government and the Taliban.
The ceasefire
The ceasefire is
scheduled to go into effect on Friday and last the entire weekend. The ceasefire could itself be a prelude to intra-Afghan peace talks. There was a peace agreement agreed to by the Taliban and US at the end of February. However, the Afghan government was not part of the negotiations and refused so far to carry out completely the terms of a prisoner swap that was part of the agreement.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid ordered the group's fighters "to refrain from carrying out any operation against the enemy during the three days and nights of Eid al-Adha so ... our countrymen would spend the Eid with confidence and joy".
This will be the first cease fire since Ramadan when the two sides agreed to a successful truce. However, hopes to extend the truce were not successful. The Afghan government has now released most but not all prisoners. Should the weekend truce be successful this would give pressure to have talks soon.
Afghan president Ashraf Ghan
i said: "To demonstrate the government's commitment to peace, the Islamic Republic will soon complete the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners. With this action, we look forward to the start of direct negotiations with the Taliban in a week's time."
Intra-Afghan negotiations
In spite of the Taliban US agreement conflict between the Taliban and the Afghan government has continued but the talks may settle the prisoner swap issue as well as a peace agreement between the Taliban and the Ghani government. Ghani suggested that talks could begin next week. So far there has been no specific date for them to take place. With the prisoner swap almost finished and the planned ceasefire the way seems clear for intra-Afghan talks to begin soon.
More about Taliban Afghan relations, EdiAlAdha ceasefire, Afghan civil war
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