Afghanistan Taliban Faction Aims to Choose Rival Leader

Anti-Mansour Faction Looks to Provide Alternative

The election of Mullah Mansour as the new leader of the Afghan Taliban after the announcement that the group’s found, Mullah Omar, had died of natural causes, created a lot of opposition, with Mullah Omar’s eldest son among a group of dissenters who are now looking to set up an alternative leadership.

Mansour’s position is a lot stronger now than it was when he was first elected though, with recent military successes, particularly around Kunduz, convincing a lot of Western officials that Mansour’s position is rock solid, and virtually unchallengable.

But the opposition faction isn’t going anywhere, and seems to believe that if they elect their own leader it will hamstring Mansour’s ability to restart peace talks, and hopefully present a leadership conflict to Western nations that will keep them from making any deals.

Mullah Niazi, a spokesman for the anti-Mansour faction, says the goal is unanimity in the leadership vote, and that they were unsatisfied with the election of Mansour. Though his election was presented as “unanimous,” opponents of Mansour had walked out before the vote was taken.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.