Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Profile: Mullah Akhtar Mansoor

< 1 min

al-Jazeera, 4 August 2015

In this profile of the new but still disputed Taleban leader, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted, including about his 2001 encounter with the man in Kabul when still the Taleban’s civil aviation minister:

Thomas Ruttig, co-director and senior analyst of the Afghanistan Analysts Network (ANN), had brief encounters with both Mullah Omar and Mullah Mansoor in 2000 and 2001, respectively.

He told Al Jazeera that Mullah Mansoor was officially the number two and a very close companion of his predecessor.

“In one of my official meetings with Mullah Mansoor in 2001, I figured that he seemed to be a confident person and [was] open to discussion,” Ruttig said. (…)

Ruttig said Mullah Mansoor’s audio message seemed geared to win over those “who are sceptical about negotiations, but he also doesn’t want to drop the idea of peace talks altogether”. (…)

“The dispute is not over yet. Rifts still might increase,” said Ruttig.