Taliban orders crackdown on abuses by its commanders

Miscreants to be kept out after complaints from residents

The Taliban’s new Defence Minister has issued a rebuke over misconduct by some commanders and fighters following the movement’s victory over the Western-backed government in Afghanistan last month, saying abuses would not be tolerated.

Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob said in an audio message that some “miscreants and notorious former soldiers” had been allowed to join Taliban units, where they had committed a range of sometimes violent abuses.

“We direct you keep them out of your ranks, otherwise strict action will be taken against you,” he stated.

“We don’t want such people in our ranks,” he added.

The message from one of the Taliban’s most senior Ministers underlines the problems Afghanistan’s new rulers have sometimes had in controlling fighting forces as they transition from an insurgency to a peacetime administration.

Some Kabul residents have complained of abusive treatment at the hands of Taliban fighters.

There have also been reports of reprisals against members of the former government and military or civil society activists, despite promises of an amnesty by the Taliban.

Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob said there had been isolated reports of unauthorised executions, and he repeated that such actions would not be tolerated.

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