A rare ceasefire between the Taliban and the Afghan government still appeared to hold on the third and final day of the deal on Sunday, as hundreds of Taliban prisoners were released in hopes of opening peace negotiations.
Calm has reigned across much of Afghanistan, with authorities not announcing any clashes since the truce began on Friday to mark the start of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
The truce is only the third official break in the fighting in nearly two decades of conflict.
“This Eid looks different, the parks are full of people (…) you almost forget that there has been a war in this country for 40 years,” said Shahpoor Shadab, a resident of Jalalabad, in eastern India. ‘Afghanistan.
In Zabul province, several residents recited poems calling for the ceasefire to become permanent. “Peace represents a necessity and an aspiration for everyone”, argued Sardar Wali who participated in the declamation of the poems.
President Ashraf Ghani and the insurgents have hinted that talks between the government and the Taliban could begin after Eid.
The opening of these negotiations was delayed by a stagnation of the prisoner exchange process, provided for by the agreement reached in February in Doha between the Taliban and the United States, and whose completion is required as a prerequisite. by the rebels.
The Doha agreement provides for the release by the Afghan authorities of 5,000 insurgents and that by the Taliban of 1,000 members of the security forces.
The National Security Council said on Sunday it had released 300 more Taliban prisoners since Friday, bringing the total to just over 4,900.
But the authorities have refused to release hundreds of other detainees, accused of “major crimes” and considered too dangerous to be released, according to the Afghan president.
The Taliban announced for their part that they have already completed their part of the exchange.