Taliban Establish Rival Government in Nuristan

After US Pullout, Taliban Appoints Officials

by Jason Ditz, November 12, 2009

In a sign that the Taliban’s de facto control over the Nuristan Province is becoming more and more formal, one of the commanders of the group’s forces in the province says the Taliban is setting up a rival government.

According to Dost Mohammed, the commander in question, the group has established its own judiciary and is appointing administrative officials, and it setting about to provide basic needs to the remote province’s residents.

The US abandoned Nuristan more or less in its entirety after an early October attack against its last two outposts in the province left eight soldiers killed. Officials maintained that they were planning to abandon the outposts anyhow.

But when the US left the outposts, they also ended virtually their entire presence in the province, with only a handful of soldiers left behind to protect the provincial governor. If the Taliban’s government gains traction, the governor may quickly become irrelevant.

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