News / Asia

US Taliban Release Angers Afghanistan

U.S. President Barack Obama stands with Bob Bergdahl (R) and Jami Bergdahl (L) as he delivers a statement about the release of their son, prisoner of war U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington May 31, 2014.
U.S. President Barack Obama stands with Bob Bergdahl (R) and Jami Bergdahl (L) as he delivers a statement about the release of their son, prisoner of war U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington May 31, 2014.
Sharon Behn
Afghanistan's government reacted in anger at President Barack Obama's decision to release five Taliban detainees from U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay into Qatar's jurisdiction, in exchange for an American soldier who had been held by the Taliban for five years.
 
Afghanistan's foreign ministry said the U.S. decision was a potential breach of international law.

Reuters quoted a source close to Afghan President Hamid Karzai who said Karzai is "even more distrustful" of U.S. intentions in the country.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Shakeb Mustaghni said Monday the government had handed over an official note to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, questioning the conditions of the prisoners’ release.
 
Guantanamo Detainees Released for American Soldier:
 
  • Khairullah Khairkhwa - Close associate of Osama bin Laden, interior minister and Herat governor during Taliban rule
  • Abdul Haq Wasiq - Deputy chief of intelligence for the Taliban
  • Mullah Mohammad Fazl - Senior Taliban army commander, accused of war crimes during Afghanistan's civil war
  • Mohammad Nabi Omari - Significant Taliban official with ties to the Haqqani network and other terrorist groups
  • Mullah Norullah Noori - Senior military commander and provincial governor during Taliban rule
Mustaghni said contrary to previous understanding, these five citizens of the Afghanistan Islamic Republic were handed over to Qatar. He added that if they do not have complete freedom of movement, or if their freedoms are denied in any way, or if they are held under detention, then this would be of strong concern to Afghanistan and grounds for protest.

 
Bowe Bergdahl
 
  • U.S. Army sergeant, was ranked private at time of his capture
  • Disappeared from army base in Paktika province, Afghanistan in June 2009
  • Taliban initially demanded $1 million and release of 21 Afghan prisoners for his release
  • Freed by Taliban on May 31, 2014 in exchange for five prisoners held by U.S. at Guantanamo Bay
  • Born March 28, 1986 in Sun Valley, Idaho
The prisoner swap secured the release of the only U.S. prisoner of war in Afghanistan, Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl was flown out of Afghanistan to a U.S. base in Germany after spending five years as a prisoner of the Taliban.
 
The detained Taliban commanders were flown to Qatar. The emirate has worked as a middleman in previous negotiation attempts between the United States, the Taliban and the Afghan government.
 
Under the terms of the deal, the former Guantanamo prisoners are to remain in Qatar for at least one year. They include the Taliban’s former deputy defense minister, and other senior leaders during the extremist group’s rule.
 
One of the five was linked to former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, and another was believed to have been behind mass sectarian killings in 2001-2002.

Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, in a rare public statement since he went into hiding in 2001, claimed the prisoners’ release was a “big victory."
 
Bergdahl’s release, which U.S. Defense Secretary Charles Hagel said took place because the sergeant’s health was deteriorating, comes seven months before the end of international combat operations in Afghanistan.
 
Bergdahl disappeared from his base in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009, under murky circumstances. It was unclear whether he defied orders and was absent without leave, or was kidnapped.
 
Five years later, the Taliban finally handed him over to U.S. Special Forces in the eastern region of Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border, on Sunday, June 1.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: None
June 04, 2014 3:22 AM
For a traitor?? Who deserted his troop?
A Muslim releasing Muslims!!


by: Bearman from: U.S.A.
June 02, 2014 1:11 PM
A very bad trade. When is the court martial for the traitor Bergdahl? I can understand the Afghan governments distrust of Obama's intentions. Welcome to the club.


by: meanbill from: USA
June 02, 2014 11:34 AM
BROKEN PROMISES? -- Karzai was promised that the US wouldn't negotiate with the Taliban, (on a US withdrawal), without the Afghan government participating -- and the US also promised Karzai military weapons and supplies, that never were delivered.. -- and Karzai was mad for over (5) years, on the US promises made, and nothing ever got delivered...

The US promised Karzai over (5) years ago, old outdated refurbished fighter planes, old outdated refurbished attack helicopters, old refurbished armored vehicles, military trucks, artillery, and weapons -- and they didn't deliver any of the old outdated refurbished fighter planes, attack helicopters, armored vehicles, or military trucks -- (AND WORST OF ALL?) -- the US has been negotiating for a US troop withdrawal with the Taliban, for over (4) years... (betraying Karzai, and the Afghans). -- Yea, Karzai was mad, and still is !!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid