Taliban unveil new uniforms for reconstituted police
- Reformed Afghan Taliban Police receive new uniforms.
- New uniforms replace the republican flag with the flag of the Islamic emirate of the Taliban. 20,000 uniforms were created under contract with a local company.
- The new uniformed police force will be deployed in Kabul and Kandahar provinces.
The Taliban’s reformed Afghan police received new uniforms on Wednesday as the de facto government tries to move away from using rebel military troops to maintain public order.
The Western-backed government and security forces disintegrated in the face of Taliban military advances when foreign forces withdrew last year, ending a 20-year conflict.
At a press conference, the Interior Ministry, overseen by Taliban leaders, revealed that a new uniform for the police had been prepared.
Significant differences were the color, which was now dark green instead of gray-blue, and the replacement of the tricolor republican flag of Afghanistan with the flag of the Islamic emirate of the Taliban on the new uniforms worn by some officers during the briefing.
The Taliban rejects the traditional republican flag, which was flown by Western-backed governments after foreign forces toppled the Taliban regime in 2001.
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When the Taliban ruled from 1996 to 2001, they used the flag of the Islamic emirate, which is white with black Arabic calligraphy reflecting the main tenet of Islam.
Mawlawi Noor Jalal Jalali, acting deputy interior minister, said a police force with new uniforms had been a key objective since taking office, but he did not specify how big it would be.
Abdul Nafi Takor, spokesman for the interior ministry, said 20,000 uniforms had been created under contract with a local company and another 100,000 would be produced in the coming weeks.
The new uniformed police force will initially be deployed in Kabul and Kandahar provinces.
The Taliban are trying to stop being an insurgent force, but they have employed their feared and relatively untrained fighters to restore law and order after the old police force was disbanded following the fall of the government.
According to Takor, the new force retained personnel but mostly inducted Taliban members.
More than 50,000 people have taken the short training courses and 400 officers have taken the extended course, according to Jalali.
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