The Taliban again delayed the announcement of their government on Saturday, the composition of which could set the tone for years to come in Afghanistan, where the new regime remains facing a pocket of armed resistance in the Panchir Valley.
Almost three weeks after the return to power of the Islamist movement, white smoke is still waiting in Kabul, where the population remains in suspense, just like the international community.
Two Taliban sources warned AFP that there would be no announcement made on Saturday about the future government.
The situation in the Panchir, one of the last centers of armed opposition to the new regime, could explain the delay in presenting the new executive, initially expected to be unveiled on Friday.
Long-standing anti-Italiban stronghold, this valley, landlocked and difficult to access, located about 80 kilometers north of the capital, has been the scene since Monday and the departure of the last American troops from the country of fighting between the Taliban forces and the National Front. resistance (FNR).
In Kabul on Friday evening, gusts sounded, fired to celebrate a Taliban victory in the Panchir that rumors in particular on social networks said acquired. But the Taliban made no official announcement and a Panchir resident told AFP by phone that the announcements were false.
– “The resistance continues” –
According to the emergency services of the capital, two people were killed and 20 others injured in the shootings which led the chief spokesman of the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, to urge his supporters on Twitter to stop “shooting. in the air ”and“ thank God instead ”.
Refugee in the Panchir valley, former vice-president Amrullah Saleh spoke of a “very difficult situation” in a video message broadcast on Friday evening, while assuring that “continued resistance[ait] and carry on[rait] “.
According to Ahmad Massoud, who leads the resistance in the valley, the Taliban have proposed to allocate two seats to the FNR in the government they want to create.
And this “while we demanded a better future for Afghanistan. We have not even considered “their offer, added Wednesday the son of Commander Ahmed Shah Massoud assassinated in 2001 by Al-Qaeda, believing that the Taliban had” chosen the path of war “.
Since their return to power after a lightning military offensive that caught the government and the international community by surprise, the Taliban have tried to show a moderate face and have stepped up their gestures of openness.
They notably promised an “inclusive” government and have established contacts in recent weeks with Afghan personalities who are opposed to them, such as ex-president Hamid Karzai, or former vice-president Abdullah Abdullah.
But nothing has filtered at this stage on their real intentions or on the place they intend to grant to representatives of the opposition or to minorities. The composition of their executive will therefore be a test of their real desire for change.
Several countries repeated Friday that the new regime would be judged by its actions. Russian President Vladimir Putin hoped that the Taliban will behave in a “civilized” manner and Beijing called on them to “break” permanently with terrorist groups.
– “Really inclusive” –
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who will be in Qatar from Monday to Wednesday, for his part hoped that the government set up by the Taliban would be “really inclusive”, with “non-Taliban who would be” representative of the different communities and different interests in Afghanistan ”.
Long awaited on the issue of women’s rights – the international community keeping in mind the brutality towards them during the first Taliban regime (1996-2001) – the new masters of the country assured that these rights would be respected.
But at the same time they hinted that there might be no female ministers, their presence falling more on the lower echelons. A perspective against which several activists rose up who demonstrated in Herat on Thursday and then in Kabul on Friday.
Beyond security issues, whether related to the Panchir Valley or the threat from the local branch of the Islamic State, the urgency for the new regime will be above all economic.
Ravaged by more than four decades of conflict, the Afghan economy is in tatters, deprived of international aid on which it largely depends and which has largely been frozen.
“Afghanistan is facing an imminent humanitarian disaster,” warned the UN on Friday, which will hold a meeting between member states on September 13 in Geneva to increase humanitarian aid to the country.
At the forefront of international negotiations with the Taliban, Qatar has indicated for its part that it hopes to see “humanitarian corridors” open in Afghan airports within 48 hours.