Taliban faces threat from Islamic State, new resistance: UN

Afghanistan's Taliban rulers are maintaining close ties with al-Qaida, reports AP.

Taliban faces threat from Islamic State, new resistance: UN

Afghanistan's Taliban rulers are maintaining close ties with al-Qaida as they consolidate control over the country, and their main military threat is coming from the Islamic State extremist group and guerrilla-style attacks by former Afghan government security personnel, UN experts said in a new report. The experts said in the report to the UN Security Council that with the onset of better weather, fighting may escalate as both Islamic State and resistance forces undertake operations against Taliban forces.

“But neither IS nor al-Qaida is believed to be capable of mounting international attacks before 2023 at the earliest, regardless of their intent or of whether the Taliban acts to restrain them,” the panel of experts said.

Nonetheless, it said the presence of IS, al-Qaida, and many other terrorist groups and fighters on Afghan soil is raising concerns in neighboring countries and the wider international community.

Since their takeover of Afghanistan last Aug 15 as US and NATO forces were in the final stages of their chaotic withdrawal from the country after 20 years, the Taliban have favoured loyalty and seniority over competence, and their decision-making has been opaque and inconsistent, the experts said.

In the report obtained Thursday, the panel monitoring sanctions against the Taliban said its leaders have appointed 41 men on the UN sanctions blacklist to the Cabinet and senior positions, and they have favoured the country's dominant Pashtun ethnic group, alienating minority communities including ethnic Tajiks and Uzbeks.

The Taliban's primary concern has been to consolidate control while seeking international recognition, to re-engage with the international financial system and to receive aid in order to deal with the growing economic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the experts said.

“Since taking power, however, there have been many factors creating internal tensions within the movement, leading to perceptions that the Taliban's governance has been chaotic, disjointed and prone to reversing policies and going back on promises," they said.

As the Taliban struggle to transition from an insurgency to a governing body, they have been divided between pragmatists and hardliners who have gained the upper hand and want to turn the clock back to the group's harsh rule from 1996 until December 2001, when they were ousted from power by US forces following the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

 

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