Taliban introduce new uniforms for its reconstituted Afghan police force

Taliban introduce new uniforms for its reconstituted Afghan police force

On Sep 15, 2021, Taliban fighters, some wearing new police uniforms, eat lunch at a police station in Kabul, Afghanistan. FELIPE DANA AP PHOTO KABUL Taliban authorities have introduced new uniforms for its reconstituted Afghan police force, as the de facto government attempts to shift away from using its insurgent military forces to handle law and order.

After the withdrawal of foreign forces ended a 20 year war last year, the Western-backed government and its security bodies collapsed in the face of Taliban advances. The interior ministry, led by Taliban officials, announced at a press conference that a new uniform had been designed for the police force.

READ MORE: Taliban order Afghan women to cover faces again.

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

The Taliban does not recognize the traditional republican flag, used by the Western 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.

Deputy Interior Minister Mawlawi Noor Jalal Jalali said the 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 had been prepared under contract from a local company and 100,000 more would be made in the coming weeks.

The police force will first be used in the provinces of Kandahar and Kabul.

The Taliban is looking to transition away from an insurgent force, but it has largely untrained fighters to implement law and order after the previous police force disbanded with the fall of the government.

Takor said the new force retained some personnel but had largely inducted Taliban fighters.

Over 50,000 people had undergone short training courses and 400 officers had graduated the long course, according to Jalali.

ALSO READ: US cancels talks with Taliban over U-turn on girls' education.