World Bulletin / News Desk
In an apparent bid to preempt further internecine rifts, the Taliban in Afghanistan have promoted the son and brother of the movement’s former chief to new posts.
On Tuesday, the Taliban announced the promotion of Mullah Mohammad Omar’s eldest son, Mullah Yaqoub, to commander in 15 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.
Omar’s brother, Mullah Abdul Manan, meanwhile, was made a member of the group’s supreme council.
Mullah Omar is believed to have died in 2013, but his death wasn’t made known until 2015.
Yaqoub and Abdul Manan were reportedly convinced by senior group leaders and religious scholars to resolve their differences with the current Taliban chief, Mullah Mansour, and accept the positions.
According to the Taliban’s website, a special meeting was convened in which Mullah Mansour, supreme council members and group commanders participated.
The site noted that council members had appointed Mullah Manan as the head of the group’s Dawat wa Irshad ("Preaching and Guidance") Commission and Yaqoub as a member of the group’s Leadership Council and military commander in 15 provinces.
Waheed Mujda, a local analyst, believes the move is aimed at countering the chances of further splits within the group’s ranks.
He told Anadolu Agency that Yaqoub had performed his religious studies in Pakistan and had no military experience.
As for Mullah Manan, Mujda said his promotion was seen as largely symbolic.
The death of Mullah Omar, who served as the Taliban’s supreme commander and spiritual leader for nearly two decades, led to divisions within the insurgent group, as senior leaders differed over the appointment of a successor.
The latest developments come at a time when a large Taliban faction -- led by Mullah Rasoul -- are engaged in armed conflict with the main faction of the group led by Mullah Mansour.
According to Afghan security officials, the Taliban are currently preparing to wage a fresh springtime offensive.Last Mod: 05 Nisan 2016, 16:30