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Dostum’s return to improve security in north: Nicholson

Dostum’s return to improve security in north: Nicholson

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Jul 23, 2018 - 21:22

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): US and NATOinfo-icon forces commander in Afghanistaninfo-icon Gen. John Nicholson on Monday said the security situation in northern region of Afghanistan would improve with the return of Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum.

Nicholson, who talked to reporters jointly with Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of the US Central Command, in Kabul, said the return of Dostum was an internal issue of Afghanistan, something he could not comment about.

However, he believed the return of Dostum from exile after spending 14 months in Turkey would help improve security situation in the northern region of Afghanistan.

Dostum, the leader of Junbish-i-Islami Afghanistan party, quietly left Kabul for Turkey last year in May after he was accused of rape and torture by a political rival Ahmad Ischi. Dostum had since been living in exile in Turkey.

About Daesh or Islamic State (IS) activities in northern Afghanistan, Nicholson said key figures of the group had been killed and stopped from advancing. He encouraged the Talibaninfo-icon in Jawzjan province to fight against Daesh in the north.

Clashes between Taliban and Daesh have recently intensified in Jawzjan province and hundreds of rebels, most of them IS fighters, have reportedly suffered casualties.

The Resolute Support commander said Afghan security forces in Nangarhar province had controlled Daesh and the group’s advancement, but the insurgents recruited local youth.

He added there were no reports about mass entrance of Daesh militants from Iraq or Syria to Afghanistan. “Daesh has no place in Afghanistan and it would be eliminated,” he added.

He welcomed the Afghan government’s announcement of another truce over upcoming Eidul Adha as a good step and said they appreciated any move ending violence in the country.

About security for upcoming elections, Nicholson said they would support Afghan forces in ensuring security of people during elections so all Afghans could participate.

mds/ma

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