Taliban reveal new police uniforms to be worn in Afghanistan

The force will be used first in the provinces of Kabul and Kandahar and will largely consist of the movement's fighters

The new Afghan Taliban police uniform, left, and the old one, right. Reuters, AFP
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Afghanistan's Taliban on Wednesday introduced new uniforms for their reconstituted police force, as the de facto government attempts to shift away from using its insurgent military forces to handle law and order.

When the US and other international troops withdrew from Afghanistan last August, after 20 years of war, security forces collapsed and were overrun by the extremist group. World governments do not recognise the new Taliban set-up.

The interior ministry, led by Taliban officials, announced at a press conference that a new uniform had been designed for the police force.

The main changes, observed on the new uniforms worn by some officers at the briefing, were in terms of colour, now dark blue instead of lighter grey-blue, and the replacing of Afghanistan's tri-coloured republican flag with the Taliban's Islamic Emirate flag on the sleeve.

The Afghan Taliban's interior ministry spokesman Abdul Nafi Takor said a police force with new uniforms had been a top priority since taking over. Reuters

The Taliban does not recognise the traditional republican flag, used by the western-backed governments that came to power after foreign forces toppled the Taliban government in 2001.

The Taliban had also used the Islamic Emirate flag ― white with black Arabic lettering displaying Islam's main tenet ― when they ruled from 1996 to 2001.

Acting Deputy Interior Minister Mawlawi Noor Jalal Jalali said a police force with new uniforms had been a top priority since taking over, but did not give details on its size.

Interior ministry spokesman Abdul Nafi Takor said 20,000 uniforms were prepared under contract from a local company and 100,000 more would be made in coming weeks.

The new uniformed police force will be used first in the provinces of Kabul and Kandahar and will largely consist of Taliban fighters.

The hardline Taliban are looking to transition away from an insurgent force, but have used their widely feared and largely untrained fighters to impose law and order after the previous police force disbanded with the fall of the government.

Mr Jalali said more than 50,000 personnel had undergone short training courses and 400 officers had graduated the long course.

Updated: June 08, 2022, 4:14 PM
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