In his first audio message, Mullah Mansoor urges for unity in the ranks of the extremist organization.
New Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor called for unity in the extremist movement in his first audio message on Saturday and rejected peace talks amid reports of rifts in their ranks following the announcement of the death of former chief Mullah Omar.
“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 rumors 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 rejected peace talks with the Afghan government. “There will be no peace talks without shariah law,” he said. “Any rumors about peace talks are merely propaganda by the enemies of the Taliban,” he added.
Kabul held talks last month with the Taliban in an attempt to work towards a peace process for the war-ravaged nation, though the second round of talks that had been expected in Pakistan on Friday was postponed following the announcement of the death of Mullah Omar.
Analysts had claimed Mullah Mansoor would be more receptive to peace talks, based on his reputation as a “moderate” but his message seems to suggest he wants to continue the aggression perpetrated by the Taliban since they launched their summer offensive earlier this year.