KABUL: Taliban’s new chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor’s first audio message surfaced on Saturday. In the audio recording, Mansoor calls for unity among the Taliban amid rumours of a rift in their ranks.

In the audio recording, Mansoor identifies Sheikh Rehmatullah and Siraj Haqqani as his deputies and says he wishes to run the Taliban just as his predecessor had done. In his message he refers to Mullah Omar’s policies, as a guiding beacon.

Earlier after his appointment as the new supreme leader, reports claimed that Taliban top leaders were not consulted for the appointment of new supreme leader.

A report on BBC says that a spokesman for the group told BBC that Mullah Mansour had not been appointed “by all Taliban” which, he said, was against Shariah.

The council will now hold a meeting to elect a new leader, he added.

After the reports of the differences inside the Taliban’s organization, Mansoor calls for unity. “We should all work to preserve unity, division in our ranks will only please our enemies, and cause further problems for us,” he said in the recording released by the group.

In the 33-minute message, the new Taliban chief also says the insurgency will continue and advises his followers not to pay attention to rumours spread about the Taliban campaign.

Mansoor replaced Taliban founder Mullah Mohammed Omar, whose death was confirmed by the militants on Thursday, although the timing of his death is unclear.

“Our goal and slogan is to implement Shariah and an Islamic system, and our jihad will continue until this is done,” he said in the message.

The audio message from Mansoor also mentioned peace talks with the Afghan government, though it was not clear whether he supported them.


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