Taliban leader’s cabinet reshuffle again dominated by reassignments

Taliban announced nine new appointments on Saturday, following orders from their leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada. As usual, the reshuffle predominantly features reassignments of existing officials to new roles.

The appointments range from directors to ministers, including positions within the Taliban-run central bank.

According to Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, the decree appoints Shahabuddin Delawar, the Taliban’s former Minister of Mines and Petroleum, as the new head of the Afghan Red Crescent Society.

Hedayatullah Badri, previously the Taliban governor of the Central Bank, has been named the Minister of Mines and Petroleum. Noor Ahmad Agha, who served as Taliban deputy head of the Central Bank, has been promoted to Taliban governor of the Central Bank.

Additionally, the former head of the Afghan Red Crescent Society has been appointed as the head of the Afghanistan Environmental Protection Agency. Nooruddin Torabi, the former deputy head of the Afghan Red Crescent Society, will now lead the disaster management directorate.

Ahmadullah Zahid, who was the Taliban director of counter-economic corruption at the Taliban’s intelligence agency, has been appointed as the deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce.

Aziz Rahman, the Taliban former head of environmental protection, will now serve as the deputy head of the Afghan Red Crescent Society.

Lastly, the Taliban former deputy of tourist affairs at the Ministry of Information and Culture has been appointed as deputy head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

This reshuffling is part of a broader trend in which the Taliban has made 37 leadership changes from September 2023 to June 2024, with 35 of these involving reassignment within existing ranks.

The Taliban insists that their appointments are based on merit and that their cabinet is inclusive. However, a study by the Middle East Institute found that no women are present in the Taliban cabinet, and 891 out of 1,137 Taliban officials are from a single ethnic group.