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MoD demands US and NATO hand over military equipment during withdrawal

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(Last Updated On: April 23, 2021)

The Afghan government is set to formally demand US and NATO hand over their military equipment during the withdrawal process, the Afghan Ministry of Defense said Thursday.

But US-led Resolute Support Mission has not yet said whether it will hand over military equipment to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) or not.

However, the Afghan government, the United States and NATO have set up a joint commission to oversee the transfer and withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

According to the US government and NATO alliance, the mission of support in Afghanistan is to end on September 11 by which time all foreign forces will be out of the country.

The Afghan army is meanwhile waiting for the foreign troops to hand over their remaining military bases and equipment to the ANDSF, something the Afghan government may formally demand from the United States and NATO, a Ministry of Defense spokesman said.

“Absolutely, we need this military equipment and we want the United States to hand it over to us,” said Fawad Aman, deputy spokesman for the MoD.

However, military analysts said the United States destroyed a lot of its equipment in 2014 and what’s left will be shipped home.

Some experts said that their weapons and military tanks are equipped with sensitive technology which the US military will not want to leave behind.

“Foreigners will not provide the military equipment to Afghans to protect themselves. This equipment is very advanced,” said Assadullah Nadim, a military expert.

Five months ago, the Afghan Senate said that when US troops leave Afghanistan, they destroy their military bases and destroy their equipment or move it to Pakistan. The house at the time called for government action, but government has not yet responded.

“Handing over equipment to Pakistan means the US is launching a war through the Taliban,” said Sarwar Niyazi, another military expert.

A source meanwhile said the Afghan government has set up a joint commission with Resolute Support to support the transfer of military equipment and bases of foreign forces securely to the Afghan forces – a commission headed by Hamdullah Moheb, National Security Advisor.

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Germany to take in more of its Afghan staff as NATO mission winds down

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(Last Updated On: June 19, 2021)

Germany said on Friday it was ready to take in more local staff who have been working for its military in Afghanistan as NATO’s mission there winds down.

The decision follows calls for Berlin to accelerate the process by which hundreds of Afghans who worked for the German military can resettle in Germany because of fears for their security if they stay in Afghanistan.

Abandoning a plan to admit only Afghans who had been employed by Germany for the past two years, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said all local staff who are at risk and have worked for the German military or security forces since 2013 will now be eligible to come to Germany.

“The two-year deadline has been lifted,” he said.

Seehofer cited new findings on the security situation in Afghanistan for the decision. He said his ministry would not pay for any flights of former Afghan staff to Germany.

NATO is leaving behind tens of thousands of Afghans who worked as civilian employees for foreign militaries as it winds down a mission that began after the Taliban were forced from power following the 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

At the start of June, the Taliban assured those Afghans of their safety, but few felt reassured.

According to a report by Spiegel news magazine, Germany so far has granted approval to around 400 former Afghan employees and their close families to come to Germany.

In April, the German forces still employed about 300 Afghans as interpreters and in other jobs, the defence ministry said.

Since 2013, Germany has admitted nearly 800 Afghans at risk in their own country after working for the foreign military, as well as about 2,500 family members.

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Taliban seize control of two districts in Takhar and Faryab: sources

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(Last Updated On: June 19, 2021)

Sources confirmed on Saturday morning that the Taliban has seized control of two districts in Takhar and Faryab provinces.

A security source told Ariana that Taliban seized control of Baharak district of Takhar province last night.

The source said that more than 50 uprising force members, policemen, and NDS soldiers have surrender to the Taliban.

The source added that five ANDSF members including the head of NDS for the district were killed in last night’s attack.

Officials have not commented so far.

Meanwhile, sources confirmed to ArianaNews that Taliban seized Khwaja Sabz Posh district of Faryab province this morning.

According to the sources police headquarters,and  the district building has fallen to Taliban.

The sources added that Akhtiyar Arab, police chief of the district along his 13 soldiers joined Taliban last night.

Officials have not commented so far.

This comes after Taliban militants in captured another three districts on Friday, sources said.

According to the sources, Dahana-i-Ghori district in Baghlan province; Awba district in Herat; and Shirin Tagab district in Faryab province were captured by the Taliban, bringing the total fallen districts to 37 since May 1.

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UN chief Guterres appointed for second term

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(Last Updated On: June 18, 2021)

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was appointed for a second-five year-term on Friday by the 193-member U.N. General Assembly.

“I will give it my all to ensure the blossoming of trust between and among nations large and small, to build bridges, and to engage relentlessly in confidence building,” Guterres told the General Assembly after taking the oath of office.

The 15-member Security Council earlier this month recommended the General Assembly re-appoint Guterres. His second term starts on beginning on Jan. 1, 2022.

Guterres succeeded Ban Ki-moon in January 2017, just weeks before Donald Trump became U.S. president. Much of Guterres‘ first term was focused on placating Trump, who questioned the value of the United Nations and multilateralism.

The United States is the largest U.N. financial contributor, responsible for 22% of the regular budget and around a quarter of the peacekeeping budget. President Joe Biden, who took office in January, has started restoring funding cuts made by Trump to U.N. agencies and re-engaged with the world body.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the United Nations faced historic challenges, but she hoped that with Guterres at the helm “the next five years will see more peace, more security, and more prosperity than the last.”

“It will require hard work, political will, and accountability from all U.N. member states,” she said in a statement, adding every member states should have “an impassioned commitment” to human rights.

Guterres, 72, was prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 and head of the U.N. refugee agency from 2005 to 2015. As secretary-general, he has been a cheerleader for climate action, COVID-19 vaccines for all and digital cooperation.

When he took the reins as U.N. chief, the world body was struggling to end wars and deal with humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen. Those conflicts are still unresolved, and Guterres is also now faced with emergencies in Myanmar and the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

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