The U.S. will pour another $50 million into efforts to woo Taliban members in Afghanistan to lay down their arms.
Karl W. Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, announced the new funding on Tuesday (April 5) in a news conference in Kabul, The Washington Post reports. He said the money will be used to facilitate meetings between the Afghan government and the rebels, finance community development projects and job training programs, and support those who abandon fighting.
The pledge supports an effort by the Afghan government to reintegrate Taliban members who had severed ties with terrorists and now recognize the country’s constitution. So far, about 2,000 former fighters have signed up for the program.
The peace program is seen by many as slow-moving, as the central government has been lacking in capacity to disburse the promised funds. Provincial governors have stated that they do not have the money to support insurgents who opted to renounce violence. In some cases, those who joined the program went back to fighting, The Washington Post notes.
Eikenberry said the he expects governors to have a “floating fund” at their disposal soon. The fund will enable them spend up to $10,000 to pursue opportunities that can help bring in insurgents.
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