USA military to honor temporary Taliban ceasefire during Ramadan
USA military to honor temporary Taliban ceasefire during Ramadan
Ghani said that fighting against other armed groups such as ISIL will continue
08 June, 2018, 22:09
He added that the cease-fire is an opportunity for Taliban to "introspect that their violent campaign is not winning them hearts and minds but further alienating the Afghan people from their cause".
The U.S. military, which has about 15,000 troops in Afghanistan in a dual mission to support local forces against the Taliban and to conduct unilateral operations against the Islamic State and other transnational groups, said it would abide by the terms of the truce.
Army Gen. John Nicholson, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defense ministers, said the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria's affiliate in the southern part of Nangarhar province had already been intensifying this year and would be further stepped up during the cease-fire, which does not apply to non-Taliban opposition groups.
Afghanistan has been engulfed in a deadly spiral of violence since the U-S-led invasion of the country back in 2001.
Last month, the Pentagon said that ceasefire negotiations with the Taliban were ongoing.
"The way forward must not rely on a military solution but rather a democratic process, and I once again urge the Taliban to take up President Ghani's peace offer and start direct talks with the government to put an end to the suffering of the Afghan people".
Afghan commandoes, supported by U.S. Special Forces and American and Afghan air power, have been carrying out an operation against the militants in Nangarhar.
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Ghani in February offered recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political group in a proposed political process that he said could lead to talks to end more than 16 years of war.
"The United States is ready to participate in the discussion, but we can not serve as a substitute for the Afghan government and the Afghan people".
He also expressed the world organisation's solidarity with the people and government of Afghanistan and said that the United Nations "remains committed to supporting an Afghan-led peace process". This is the first time the government has extended its peace overture to Haqqanis who the United States has declared global terrorists.
The surprise move comes days after a gathering of Afghanistan's top clerics in the capital Kabul called for a ceasefire and issued a fatwa against suicide bombings and attacks.
The Taliban in response to Trump's strategy has intensified attacks against Afghan security forces, killing around 500 of them in just the month of May, according to Afghan officials and local media reports. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the shooting, and it was not clear who the target was.
The Eid al-Fitr holiday ending Ramadan falls at the end of next week.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the United States could now redirect significant military capabilities towards Islamic State and other militant groups.
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