Mullah Omar’s son given position by Afghan Taliban to avert rift

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 05, 2016 13:25 IST
This undated photo, courtesy of the US State Department, shows Mullah Omar. (AFP)

The Afghan Taliban have accommodated their late leader Mullah Omar’s son and brother in key positions to avert the widening of a rift within the organisation, according to media reports on Tuesday.

Omar’s elder son Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob was given a senior military position and will now be in-charge of the group’s “military commission” in 15 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, said a statement from the Taliban. He was also been included the “Rehbari Shura”, the Taliban’s top decision-making council.

Mullah Abdul Manan, Omar’s brother and Yaqoob’s uncle, was included in the Taliban’s leadership council, according to the statement.

Yaqoob and Manan formally assumed their offices at a meeting of Taliban leaders, members of the leadership council and senior commanders, it added. The

The military commission is responsible for overseeing all military affairs of the Taliban and is led by Mullah Ibrahim Sadr.

Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was named the head of the Afghan Taliban after the group admitted last year that Mullah Omar had died in 2013. Yaqoob had refused to accept the leadership of Mansoor.

The announcement about Yaqoob and Manan was part of an “understanding between the Taliban leadership and Mullah Omar’s family”, The Express Tribune reported.

Earlier, Yaqoob and Manan were unwilling to accept top positions in the group when Mansoor’s fighters launched operations against those who refused to pledge their allegiance to Omar’s successor.

Omar’s kin were upset when fighters loyal to the new leader killed top commander Mullah Mansoor Dadullah, his brother and dozens of his fighters in Zabul a few months ago.

Dadullah too had rejected Mansoor as the new leader of the Afghan Taliban. He believed Omar’s sons should lead the Taliban.

Religious scholars close to the Taliban brokered a ceasefire between Mansoor and a rival faction under Mullah Mohammad Rasool, the Tribune reported.

This is the first time the Taliban leadership has given senior positions to members of Omar’s family and the move is likely to strengthen Mansoor’s growing control over the group, the report added.

The announcement came days after senior leader Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir declared allegiance to Mansoor. Zakir, who once headed the Taliban’s military commission, was among several influential leaders who had earlier refused to accept Mansoor’s leadership.

The latest appointments were made against the backdrop of growing tensions among the Taliban leadership following the confirmation of Mullah Omar’s death, the Khaama Press reported.

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