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  • Afghanistan: Women protest in Kabul against all-male Taliban government

Dozens of women in Kabul and the north-eastern Afghan province of Badakhshan have protested against the formation of an all-male interim Taliban government to rule Afghanistan.

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Demonstrators said they would not accept a government with no women ministers.

Some women were reportedly beaten before the protests were dispersed.

A news organisation said some of its journalists were detained and beaten for covering the rally.

The Taliban, who have not responded to the allegations, warned that such protests were illegal.

They have said protesters needed permission to march, and should not use what they called abusive language.

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On Tuesday, three people were killed during a demonstration in the western city of Herat.

The EU said the Islamist group had reneged on promises to make their government "inclusive and representative", while the US also expressed concern that the interim government includes figures linked to attacks on US forces.

In a statement, the US state department said it was concerned by the "affiliations and track records of some of the individuals".

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The anti-Taliban National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF) has urged the international community not to recognise the new government, calling the cabinet "illegal" and "a clear sign of the group's enmity with the Afghan people".

The Taliban insist they have now defeated the NRF in the Panjshir Valley north of Kabul, but NRF leaders say they are still fighting.

On Tuesday the Taliban announced the first appointments to its interim cabinet, which will be led by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund.

Hassan Akhund served as foreign minister, and then later deputy prime minister, when the Taliban last ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.


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Like many of the new cabinet ministers he is under UN sanctions for his position in that government.

Another incoming minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is head of the notorious Haqqani network.

Unlike the wider Taliban, the Haqqani network has been designated a foreign terrorist organisation by the US. It also maintains close ties to al-Qaeda.

The FBI says Haqqani was behind some of the deadliest attacks of the 20-year-long war, including a truck bomb explosion in Kabul in 2017 that killed more than 150 people.

He is wanted by the FBI over a 2008 attack on a hotel that killed an American.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is holding a virtual meeting of 20 Western nations on Wednesday, to co-ordinate a set of conditions for engagement with the Taliban government.

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in a sweeping offensive more than three weeks ago.

They now face many tough challenges in the conflict-torn country, including stabilising the economy and gaining international recognition.

Esther Solaja


posted 2021-09-08 15:16:45

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