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US Soldier Freed In Taliban Prisoner Swap After Being Held For 5 Years

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The only US soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan has been freed as part of a swap deal with the Taliban, brokered by the government of Qatar.

Bowe Bergdahl’s release was part of a negotiation that included the freeing of five high-profile Afghan prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, statements from the US government said.

The US president, Barack Obama, thanked Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, for his commitment to the mediation between the US and the Taliban.

The 28-year-old Bergdahl, a sergeant in the US army, had been held by the Taliban since June 30, 2009. He was handed to US troops by the Taliban on Saturday evening in an area of eastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border

Officials said the exchange was not violent and Bergdahl was in good condition and able to walk.

The Taliban prisoners were to be handed over to authorities in Qatar. They were named on Saturday as Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori, Mohammed Nabi, Khairullah Khairkhwa and Abdul Haq Wasiq.

All were high-ranking members of the Taliban government toppled by the US in 2001. Fazl was the deputy defence minister, while Noori was the governor of Balkh province.

The Taliban said in a statement that their release brought “great joy”.

In a statement, Obama said: “The American people are pleased that we will be able to welcome home Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.”

“On behalf of the American people, I was honoured to call his parents to express our joy that they can expect his safe return, mindful of their courage and sacrifice throughout this ordeal.

“For his assistance in helping to secure our soldier’s return, I extend my deepest appreciation to the Emir of Qatar.”

A senior White House official told Al Jazeera that the US administration would not transfer any prisoners from Guantanamo “unless the threat they may pose to the US can be mitigated”.

He added that the Taliban prisoners would be “subject to restrictions on their movement and activities”.

The deal was agreed through indirect talks with the Taliban’s political commission, the official said.

Bergdahl’s parents, Bob and Jan Bergdahl, in a press conference with Obama, thanked everyone domestically and internationally involved in their son’s recovery.

“The complicated nature of this recovery will never be comprehended. We can’t communicate the words this morning when we heard from the president,” Bob Bergdahl said. [AlJazeera]

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. kunle

    June 1, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Why can’t nigeria do something like this,so those girls can be return to their parent,our government shd act fast b4 those pple change their mind

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US Election: Trump Claims Victory Hours After Saying Biden Won

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US Election: Trump Claims Victory Hours After Saying Biden Won

Donald Trump

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has declared himself the winner of the US Election 2020.

President Trump declared himself the winner of the US election in a tweet on Monday morning, November 16 by simply tweeting: “I won the election.”

Also Read: US election: Trump says Biden won but again refuses to concede

This came hours after he tweeted that his opponent Joe Biden “won because the election was rigged.”

The latest vote tallies project Democratic candidate, Biden a clear winner in the state-by-state Electoral College that decides the presidency, with 306 votes against Trump’s 232.

However, President Trump has remained defiant, continuously claiming he won the election free and fair.

US election: Trump claims victory hours after saying Biden won

 

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Former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings Is Dead

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Former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings Is Dead

Jerry Rawlings

Jerry Rawlings, a former Ghanaian president has reportedly died from suspected COVID-19 complications.

The former Ghanaian leader died at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, capital of Ghana on Thursday morning.

Rawlings led the country first as a military ruler and then as a democratically elected president between 1981 and 2001.

Also Read: FG Owes 3,504 Contractors, Fashola Tells National Assembly

Rawlings initially rose to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant in the Ghana Air Force, following a coup détat in 1979.

After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took control again in December 1981 as Head of State.

He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.

Rawlings left office in 2000 after exhausting Ghana’s constitutional term-limit of eight years for Presidents.

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US Election Is Far From Over — Trump

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US Election Is Far From Over — Trump

Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump has refused to concede after his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, secured the required number of electoral college votes to win the presidential race.

Shortly after Biden was projected winner, Trump in a defiant statement expressed that the election was “far from over” and criticised Biden for “rushing to falsely pose as the winner.”

“Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.

Also Read: Joe Biden Defeats Trump To Win US Presidential Election

“Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.

“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.

“The American people are entitled to an honest election, that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots,” Trump said.

 

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