Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Mullah Omar's death anniversary reignites rifts between Haqqani, Taliban leadership

Tuesday 16/May/2023 - 04:53 PM
The Reference
Mohamed Youssri

Two years have almost passed since the coming of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan.

The Afghan ruling movement has celebrated the anniversary of the death of its founder, Mullah Omar, recently.

Omar was killed on April 23, 2013. However, an announcement about his death was deferred for two years. This opened up cracks within the movement.

It was Mullah Akhtar Mansour who succeeded in reuniting the movement after this.

Omar's 10th death anniversary comes to reignite differences within the movement, but in a new way.

The movement's leaders talked about Omar's legacy and glories recently. Nevertheless, their talk had a different facet this time.

Sirajuddin Haqqani speaking

The Taliban staged a ceremony on the occasion of Omar's death anniversary on May 12.

During the ceremony, Acting Interior Minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, revealed some details about the conduct of the Taliban.

He also talked about the movement's hostage-taking operations which aimed to put pressure on its opponents.

These operations, he said, included some foreigners with the aim of swapping them for some Taliban movement members who were detained in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani network, the most violent wing of the movement, admitted that the Taliban was also doing this in exchange for money.

However, Haqqani mentioned some people who helped in these operations, including a senior financial official in the movement, who fell into major disagreements with the leader of the movement, but the Taliban acting interior minister was supportive of him.

Haqqani also talked about another influential figure, a well-known tribal leader who was detained in Guantanamo prison since 2005.

He said Bashir Noorzai, known as Haj Bashar was released in exchange for an American engineer held hostage by the movement since 2020.


Haqqani's speech was only an opportunity to review the strength of the Haqqani network and its strong relations with the founder of the movement in the light of differences between the man and the central leadership in Kandahar.

These differences surfaced during the last months of last year.

It seems that Haqqani deliberately mentioned specific people on this occasion to remind the Central Command in Kandahar that he still has power and influence.