Friday, July 31, 2015

With The Death Of Mullah Omar Will The Taliban Now Split Apart?

The Tolonews website runs a story on its front page reporting about news of the death of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar in Kabul May 23, 2011. REUTERS/AHMAD MASOOD/FILES

Reuters: Exclusive: Walkout at Taliban leadership meeting raises specter of split

At the Taliban meeting this week where Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour was named as the Islamist militant group's new head, several senior figures in the movement, including the son and brother of late leader Mullah Omar, walked out in protest.

The display of dissent within the group's secretive core is the clearest sign yet of the challenge Mansour faces in uniting a group already split over whether to pursue peace talks with the Afghan government and facing a new, external threat - Islamic State.

Rifts in the Taliban leadership are likely to widen after confirmation this week of the death of elusive founder Omar.

Mansour, Omar's longtime deputy who has been effectively in charge for years, favors talks to bring an end to more than 13 years of war. He recently sent a delegation to inaugural meetings with Afghan officials hosted by Pakistan, hailed as a breakthrough.

Update #1: Top Omar Aide Says New Taliban Leader Faced Opposition -- Radio Free Europe
Update #2: News Analysis: Mullah Omar's death may split Taliban's ranks -- Xinhua

WNU Editor: The new leader of the Taliban kept the death of Mullah Omar secret for two years .... if he had felt comfortable in his leadership position he would have made this announcement within days if not weeks after he learned of his death. He choose not to .... which tells me that he knew that he would be facing opposition to his leadership role in the Taliban, hence the deception. Now that the secret is out of the bag, he is facing opposition. Will this opposition be enough to have him replaced .... we shall see.

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