The US and the Taliban armed group in Afghanistan have agreed to sign a peace deal.
The two are set to sign a peace deal that could signal the end of the US’s longest war.
The two sides prepare to sign a peace deal on Saturday 29th February, 2020, after nearly two years of protracted negotiations in the Qatari capital Doha.
The Taliban have been waging an armed rebellion since 2001 when the US toppled the group from power.
The signing of the peace deal in Doha will unlock intra-Afghan talks between the Taliban and Afghan stakeholders, including the country’s West-backed government, to decide the future course of the country.
Analysts have pointed out the challenge in establishing lasting peace is the intra-Afghan talks. They said details had yet to be spelled out.
“It is important to note that the agreement that will likely be signed on February 29 between the Taliban and the US is not a peace deal,” Andrew Watkins, senior analyst on Afghanistan at the International Crisis Group said.
“Instead, this is the result of a precursor phase of the Afghan peace process, one that was necessary to bring the Taliban to the table with the Afghan government and political leadership for a substantive Dialogue,” he added.
Watkins, also pointed out that the US and Taliban were not meant to map out key questions on the future of Afghanistan. Instead, these decisions, Watkins pointed out, are meant to be made in the intra-Afghan negotiations.
“The US-Taliban deal should be seen as having provided a window, or opportunity, for a political settlement and peaceful end to the conflict. But so much work towards that end remains to be done,” he noted.