Afghan President Offers Extension as Ramadan Ceasefire Expires

Taliban rejects call to continue ceasefire

The end of Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, was something unique in Afghanistan this year. After years of fighting, a ceasefire was agreed to by government and Taliban forces. In some cities, fighters for both sides even met to celebrate the calm, and the religious holiday.

Taliban and governmentt officials commemorate Eid together in Kandahar

With the Eid coming to an end in just days, the question is rapidly becoming what comes next. Afghan officials who opposed President Ghani’s ceasefire are warning they don’t seem to have preparations in place if it doesn’t hold, and the Taliban used the ceasefires to get large numbers of people into the cities.

Ghani is offering to extend the ceasefire another 10 days after the end of Eid, with high hopes given how successful the truce has been so far. While fighting hasn’t resumed yet, the Taliban is saying they don’t intend to extend.

Taliban leaders issued a statement saying that the successful ceasefire proved how unified the group was, and also that their leadership enjoys wide national support. They noted in particular that their fighters were welcomed into cities during the brief pause in fighting.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.