Afghanistan: Peacebuilding
Peacebuilding
Afghanistan: Peacebuilding
Afghanistan: Peacebuilding
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Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI)

International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO)

 

Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a landlocked country, bordered by China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Pakistan. The majority of the country's estimated population of 25 million are Sunni Muslims, although there is a sizeable Shia Muslim community. Afghanistan has several ethnic groups, the largest being Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras and Turkmens. Shifting power dynamics within the region have led neighbouring countries and the major powers to support a range of different Afghan groups.

Afghanistan is one of the world's poorest and most underdeveloped countries. The country has suffered invasion and civil war since 1978. Natural disasters have added to its vulnerability. Human rights have been constantly violated by state and non-state actors, not least the rights of women. While more than 4 million Afghans have been repatriated since 2002, millions still remain in Pakistan and Iran, while 200,000 are internally displaced within Afghanistan itself. The Bonn process led to the approval of a new constitution in late 2003, election of Hamid Karzai as president in October 2004, and the opening of the newly elected parliament in December 2005. Donor confidence has gradually been established through the presentation of a National Development Framework and Budget in early 2002, as well as the use of international auditing firms for procurement. The establishment of a national army has gradually picked up speed, while the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) continues to secure the capital Kabul and smaller Provincial Regional Teams (PRTs) are assigned to provide security and assist in aid coordination in the countryside.

Following the fall of the Taliban in late 2001, a number of military commanders that had declared themselves provincial governors and were securing income and influence from legal and illegal cross-border trade were co-opted into the police force and the New Afghan Army. While not directly opposing the government, many of these have established a significant degree of autonomy, buttressed by private armies and income from, for example, drug production.

In early 2002, the international community pledged USD 4.5 billion over a five-year period for the rehabilitation and development of Afghanistan. Funding has partly been channelled through internationally managed trust funds, such as the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), and partly through UN organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

The 'Afghan Compact' prepared for the January 2006 donor meeting envisages a prolonged international development involvement, while NATO is prepared to continue the military presence.

Links:
Afghan Information and Management System (AIMS)
http://www.aims.org.af/
Collection of Afghan Laws
http://www.idlo.org/AfghanLaws/index.htm
International Development Law Organisation
Global IDP Database
http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/IdpProjectDb/idpSurvey.nsf/w
Countries/Afghanistan
Land Mine Monitor
http://www.icbl.org/lm/2002/afghanistan.html