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Afghanistan government and Taliban engage in prisoner exchange

Afghanistan’s government has agreed to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners in the coming days on the condition that all prisoners will not return to the battlefield and the Taliban will return 1,000 government troops.

The move is aimed at bringing to a close the 18 years conflict as the US begins to withdraw its troops from the regions.

Despite the on-going peace negotiations, there has been continued violence in Afghanistan, which the US has warned the Taliban is “not conducive to advancing the peace process”.

According to a statement released by the Afghan government;

“The process of releasing 1,500 Taliban prisoners will be completed within 15 days, with 100 prisoners walking out of Afghan jails every day”.

Former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, stressed the importance of having women at the negotiating table;

“Afghan women today are rightly afraid... that the gains they have made with all of our help will be washed away in a rush to achieve a peace that will not hold anyway […] This is not just morally wrong, this is dangerous.”

The government has stated that if peace negotiations are able to make progress, 500 Taliban prisoners will be released every two weeks until the total 5,000 prisoners will be released.

Read more from Reuters.