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Afghanistan: Taliban announces Eid ceasefire

Afghanistan: Taliban announces Eid ceasefire

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 09 Jun 2018, 09:54 am

Kabul, June 9 (IBNS): The Taliban has announced a ceasefire with the Afghanistan forces during the Eid festival in the country.

The Taliban has announced a three-day ceasefire in the country.

The country's government had announced a ceasefire on Thursday.

The Taliban made the announcement for the first time.

However, the group vowed to continue targeting foreign forces in the nation.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, was quoted as saying by Pajhwok Afghan News the movement’s fighters had been asked not to conduct attacks during the first three days of Eidul Fitr so that the countrymen could freely enjoy the festival.

In a statement, Mujahid said the Taliban would continue operation against foreign forces. The fighters have also been asked to treat prisoners well on the occasion of Eid, read the report issued by the news agency.

UN welcomes Afghanistan Government's move:

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed the week-long ceasefire announced by the Government of Afghanistan with the Taliban and called on the militant group to reciprocate the temporary pause.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Guterres urged the Taliban to “accept President Ashraf Ghani’s peace offer to commence direct talks to bring an end to the long suffering of the Afghan people.”

He also expressed the Organization’s solidarity with the people and Government of Afghanistan and said that the UN “remains committed to supporting an Afghan-led peace process.”

In a separate statement on Thursday, the top UN official for the country, Tadamichi Yamamoto, commended the Afghan authorities for the preparedness they expressed “to initiate, in good faith, any steps to toward a formal peace process.”

“The way forward must not rely on a military solution but rather a democratic process,” he said.

The ceasefire, announced by the Government starts on the 27th of Ramadan (12 June) and will run through the end of Ramadan to fifth day of Eid-ul-Fitr. The international military presence in the country has also indicated that it will honour the pause in fighting.

It follows the Afghan Government’s call for unconditional peace talks with the Taliban at the Kabul Process II conference in the Afghan capital in February, according to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, which Yamamoto heads.

The announcement also comes on the back of calls by more than 2,000 religious scholars who had gathered this week in the capital, Kabul, to denounce the ongoing conflict and urge all warring sides to embrace peace added the UN mission.