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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 2-Jun-2014
2-Jun-14 World View -- Prisoner swap deal infuriates many Afghans, 'big victory' for Taliban

Web Log - June, 2014

2-Jun-14 World View -- Prisoner swap deal infuriates many Afghans, 'big victory' for Taliban

Abbas: Palestinian unity government will 'renounce violence' against Israel

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

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Taliban chief Mullah Omar calls prisoner swap a 'big victory'


Mullah Mohammad Omar
Mullah Mohammad Omar

The release of five high-level Taliban prisoners from Gitmo, in exchange for U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl who has been held captive for 5 years, is being declared a "big victory" by the supreme leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Mohammad Omar:

"I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the entire Afghan Muslim nation, all the Mujahideen and to the families and relatives of the prisoners for this big victory regarding the release of five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo prison. ...

We shall thank almighty for this great victory. The sacrifice of our Mujahedin have resulted in the release of our senior leaders from the hand of the enemy. ...

I thank the government of Qatar, especially its emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad (Al Thani), who made sincere efforts for release of these leaders and for their mediation and for hosting them. May Allah grant all of them with rewards"

The five Taliban prisoners had been officials in the Taliban regime driven out by the US-led invasion of Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, attacks. AFP and NBC

Many Afghans express anger at the release of the Taliban prisoners

Some Afghans are criticizing the release of five Taliban prisoners, saying that they'll resume fighting within Afghanistan after the U.S. troops leave.

According to the U.S. military, the five are "high risk," and were implicated in the murder of thousands of Shia Muslims in Afghanistan. The Taliban are militants within the Pashtun ethnic group, which is Sunni Muslim. There is continuing sectarian tension throughout the region, and the return of Taliban militants with a history of slaughter of Shia Muslims is going to raise alarms.

According to one high school teacher living in Kabul:

"This decision showed that the region, Afghanistan and its people arenít worth anything to American government.

Otherwise, why would they swap a useless army soldier who broke the law with the five most dangerous Taliban fighters?"

The phrase "broke the law" refers to the accusation that Bergdahl had been captured in the first place because he abandoned his post, and walked away from his military base with only a compass and a bottle of water. Reuters

Abbas: Palestinian unity government will 'renounce violence' against Israel

Palestinians expect to form a new "unity government" with a press conference scheduled for Monday afternoon. The unity government will join Hamas, the governing authority in Gaza, with the Palestinian Authority (PA/Fatah) for the first time since the factions went to war in 2008.

The United States has not taken a public position on the reunification of the two Palestinian groups, but on Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by phone to PA president Mahmoud Abbas. In the phone call, Abbas promised Kerry that the new unity government would recognize Israel and renounce violence. Few people believe that this promise will be kept.

Hamas is threatening to block Monday's announcement unless a number of power-sharing issues are resolved. Previous attempts to form a unity government have failed because of such issues. However, the reunification has become a major international issue, and Hamas officials are indicating that they'll go ahead with the announcement despite their misgivings and expect to make changes later. Jerusalem Post and Gulf News

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 2-Jun-14 World View -- Prisoner swap deal infuriates many Afghans, 'big victory' for Taliban thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (2-Jun-2014) Permanent Link
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