In what appeared to be a major dispute over the succession of leadership, the Taliban have announced failure to put an end to the row concerning the appointment of Mullah Mansour as their new leader, a development that is expected to break the group into two smaller groups. This comes after Taliban’s media office announced that the son and brother of the late Taliban leader and military commander, Mullah Omar, have pledged their allegiance to Mullah Akhtar Mansour.
Taliban’s former leader, Mullah Omar, had been confirmed dead this July by the Afghan authorities. However, the group had confirmed last month that Mullah Omar had in fact died two years ago from contracting hepatitis C, a report which conflicted with that of the Afghan authorities.
Following the death of the former leader, the quick appointment of Mullah Akhtar Mansour, the Taliban’s long serving civil aviation minister during Taliban rule, had been met with severe opposition from the family of Mullah Omar. The brother and son of Mullah Omar, Mullah Manan and Mullah Yaqoub, had expressed deep concerns over appointing a successor without consensus and in haste.
The group had lately witnessed growing tensions within its leadership, causing many to form splinter groups to show rebellion. In an attempt to keep the group operational and united, both Mullah Manan and Mullah Yaqoub have now agreed to give their support to the new leader on the grounds that they will be consulted in all vital matters along with accepting eight demands, of which include ruling by consensus and reorganizing the Shura council.
However, the talks, which were led by the Ulema council in order to resolve differences, ended on Saturday after Mullah Mansour refused to live up to the demands made by the Omar family.
“We and our people remained silent for two months and wanted the Ulema Council to peacefully resolve our differences, but Mullah Mansoor has told the Ulema Council he would not accept our demands”
– Mullah Manan Niazi
The spokesman for the anti-Mullah Mansoor faction has announced to launch their own operations against the Afghan government and US-led forces due to the appointment of Mullah Mansour without consensus.
Mullah Mansour has today released a statement in advance of the upcoming Muslim Eid holiday, emphasizing the need to remove the occupation by all western and foreign armies for ensuring peace in Afghanistan. The message comes as 10 Afghan soldiers were killed today after 10 insurgents were allowed inside a checkpoint by a fellow soldier
“If the Kabul administration wants to end the war and establish peace in the country, it must end the occupation and revoke all military and security treaties with the invaders,” said Mansour in a statement.
The new Taliban leader also urged that all existing deals made with the current Kabul government should be revoked and called for unity within the resistance group.