News - Afghanistan
Among 13 militants who formally joined the Afghan peace and reintegration programme Tuesday, one man said that he had been a prisoner who did not have any links with the Taliban.
Up to 13 insurgents apparently handed over their weapons and joined the official peace process in southern Kandahar city on Tuesday, local officials said.
However, one of the group told TOLOnews that he was not joining the programme, that he had been in prison for two years, and simply wants to go home.
"I did not come for the peace process. I was a prisoner for more than two years, so now I am free and I want to go back home," he told TOLOnews with his face covered by a scarf.
At a ceremony to welcome the 13 men into the programme, Kandahar deputy governor Abdul Qayoum called on all insurgents to renounce violence and join the peace process.
"The men that joined the peace process, they were involved in insurgent attacks. Today these are men who renounce violence and return to a normal life," he said Tuesday.
The provincial council chief Ata Mohammad Ahmadi said that the government should ensure it provides jobs and facilities for the insurgents to reintergrate.
"We have several commanders that were armed but they do not fight against the government. However, there is no job opportunity for them, so they can't join the government," he said.
It comes as insurgents continue to attack local government and security forces throughout the province.