Taliban vow to be accountable, probe reports of reprisals EU says no recognition of Taliban, no political talks

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Kabul/Brussels

The Taliban will be accountable for its actions and will investigate reports of reprisals and atrocities carried out by members, an official of the group told Reuters on Saturday.

The official added that the group planned to ready a new model for governing Afghanistan within the next few weeks.

It has been just a week since the Taliban completed a lightning fast takeover of the country, finally walking into Kabul last Sunday without firing a shot.

“We have heard of some cases of atrocities and crimes against civilians,” the official said. “If Talibs (members) are doing these law and order problems, they will be investigated.”
He added, “We can understand the panic, stress and anxiety. People think we will not be accountable, but that will not be the case.”

The new framework for governing the country would not be a democracy by Western definition, but “It will protect everyone’s rights,” the official added.

“Legal, religious and foreign policy experts in the Taliban aim to present the new governing framework in the next few weeks,” he said.

The chaos at Kabul airport, besieged by thousands of people desperate to flee, was not the responsibility of the Taliban, he added. “The West could have had a better plan to evacuate.”

Gun-toting Taliban members around the airport have urged those without travel documents to go home.

At least 12 people have been killed in and around the airport since Sunday, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Taliban officials said.

A Nato official told Reuters on Saturday that about 12,000 foreigners and Afghans working for embassies and international aid groups have been evacuated from the Kabul airport since Taliban insurgents entered the capital.

“The evacuation process is slow, as it is risky, for we don’t want any form of clashes with Taliban members or civilians outside the airport,” said the official.

The EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Saturday that the European Union has not recognized the Taliban, nor is it holding political talks with the militants.

The head of the EU executive spoke after visiting a reception center in Madrid for Afghan employees of EU institutions evacuated from Kabul.

Von der Leyen said she would propose an increase in the 57 million euros ($67 million) in humanitarian aid which the Commission had allocated this year for Afghanistan.

She said EU development aid is tied to respect of human rights, good treatment of minorities and respect for the rights of women and girls.

“We may well hear the Taliban’s words but we will measure them above all by their deeds and actions,” von der Leyen told a news conference.– Reuters

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