FBA arbetar med internationella fredsinsatser och utvecklingssamarbete. Myndigheten bedriver utbildning, forskning och metodutveckling för att stödja freds- och statsbyggande i konflikt- och postkonfliktländer. Vi bidrar även med civil personal och expertis till freds- och valobservationsinsatser som leds av EU, FN och OSSE. Myndigheten har fått sitt namn efter Folke Bernadotte, FN:s första medlare.
Political uncertainty looms over Afghanistan amid violence
After the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan collapsed on 15 August 2021, a peaceful and stable Afghanistan free from despair remains elusive. Imported ideologies, exclusion and violent politics have shaped a political landscape where the monopolization of power and marginalization of opponents continue while insecurity is taking its toll on Afghans.
43 years of upheavals have left Afghanistan in political uncertainty, and its population is none the wiser. With every regime change, the cycle of crisis continues as neither the Afghan leaders nor the surrounding countries (and one-time former international partners), have learned the lessons from the past, and thus, history repeats itself.
Afghanistan does not need another war! A constructive and inclusive dialogue that brings the country together to build peace from the ashes of war, is what is required. Yet, today, we see another cycle of conflict taking shape.
Violence growing beyond Taliban control
The National Resistance Front (NRF), led by Ahmad Masood, and the Islamic State Khorasan Province (Daesh-K) are the two mutually opposing forces fighting the de facto Taliban government in Afghanistan.
The NRF populists, mainly non-Pashtun politicians who resisted the Taliban in the 1990s, defy the Taliban in their northern enclaves. Conversely, the influence of Daesh-K is felt almost everywhere, as they cause as much carnage as possible on Afghans – especially on the Shiite Hazara minority.
On 19 April 2022, Daesh-K targeted a school and an education center in Kabul, killing more than 25 Hazara Afghans. Later, more than 30 were killed and 90 wounded by Daesh-K after a bombing in a Shiite mosque in Mazarsharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, on 21 April. Two days later, on the 23 April, another mosque in the Imam-Sahib district of the Kunduz province was targeted in an attack killing 31 and wounding more than 90 people.
Meanwhile, the NRF military offenses go unnoticed, given the significance of Daesh-K attacks or Taliban censorship of media coverage.
Has Afghanistan lost its relevance in world politics?
From the cold war to the ”War on Terror,” global powers have historically exploited Afghanistan. 9/11 transformed the world, and Afghanistan became the center of a massive international military campaign against terrorism involving over 40 nations. Despite the losses, Afghanistan made significant progress on many fronts, but as the US removed its forces in 2021, the achievements were unraveled, and as the Russians invaded Ukraine, Afghanistan appears to have lost its relevance and significance in world politics.
The international interlocutors have become frustrated with the Taliban’s broken promises of amnesty, respecting women’s rights (including brutally and unnecessarily denying teenage girls the right to education) and forming a representative government.
Ostensibly, only Pakistan and China, the all-weather friends, are the Taliban’s precarious partners on the regional and international stage, but even they don’t recognize the Taliban as a government. Thrown into isolation behind the Ukraine crisis, Afghans and their fundamental rights have become a matter of the past now.
An incomplete chapter
There is no winner of the war in Afghanistan if we look at it from a more profound social, political, and economic point of view. Instead, we can argue that all the key players failed collectively to achieve peace. What is lacking is a political pathway for national reconciliation and international rapprochement. Without a free and frank national dialogue mediated by credible international actors, it would be hard for the Taliban to rule over Afghanistan as well as curb terrorism.
The international community should realize the consequences of an unstable Afghanistan that would go beyond their imagination, given the Daesh-K resurgence. Therefore, an active international engagement in Afghanistan with the Taliban, former government representatives, and civil society is needed to revive the dead talks. There is no doubt such an effort would alleviate the substantial political, humanitarian, and economic challenges that Afghans face.
In conclusion, we should complete the incomplete chapter of peace and reconciliation. The end of violence is not peace, but the beginning of a more comprehensive process of genuine reconciliation, inclusion, confidence building, and state-building. Without proper reconciliation and right-based inclusion, peace will remain a dream, and the uncertainty will loom over Afghans’ future.
av Baryalai Helali
Skrivet av Baryalai Helali
Baryalai Helali (MBA), is the former Chief of Staff for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan's negotiating team in Doha. Helali has worked with peacebuilding and conflict resolution in Afghanistan in different institutions, including the High Peace Council. He was an advisor to Afghanistan's Defense Minister and a Strategic Communications Lead for three years and has served as an independent consultant using his knowledge on the peace process in Afghanistan. Baryalai Helali has developed several information and public policies for the Afghan government, including the National Youth Policy and Strategy. In 2022, he is conducting a Fellowship with FBA.
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