Journey to peace and stability still fraught with difficulties in Afghanistan

Thursday, 2021-12-30 09:09:22
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Taliban forces inspect the site of a bomb explosion in Jalalabad City, Nangarhar Province, in eastern Afghanistan. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO - The return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan is considered by the world media as one of the outstanding events of 2021. The West's 20-year involvement has ended, Afghanistan is still facing numerous difficulties and the journey to peace and stability are still fraught with difficulties.

The year 2021 marks a historic turning point in the peace process in Afghanistan. 46th President of the US Joe Biden decided to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan on September 11, 2021, the day commemorating the unfortunate victims in the bloody terrorist attack that occurred 20 years ago.

However, the government of then Afghan President Ashraf Ghani quickly collapsed once the Western coalition left. On August 15, the Taliban took control of the capital Kabul and met almost no resistance, marking its return to power in Afghanistan after 20 years.

Armed conflict, natural disasters, poverty, and chronic food insecurity have pushed Afghans into the largest refugee group in the world. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are about 3.5 million Afghan refugees in neighbouring Iran and Pakistan alone. The chaotic backdrop of the power transition pushed an additional 700,000 people homeless, bringing the total number of people fleeing across the southwestern Asian country to about 10% of the population.

The anti-terrorist coalition left, the gunmen rose up. As the US and other countries were trying to evacuate citizens from Afghanistan, the US President warned that fighters from the Islamic State Khorasan may attempt to carry out suicide attacks.

And the most unexpected thing came, when on August 26, a series of bloody bombings occurred at the international airport in Kabul capital, targeting the crowd who were trying to find the opportunity to leave. Nearly 200 people, including US soldiers, were killed. The Islamic State Khorasan claimed responsibility for the attack.

The group aspires to establish an "Islamic State" throughout the region, rather than building a government limited to Afghanistan's borders. Therefore, soon after the Western coalition left, it continued to expand its operations, overshadowing the Taliban's claim to “bring peace to Afghanistan”.

No country has officially recognised the government established by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Afghanistan's ambassador to the UN, who was appointed by the country's ousted government, has also left his post. UN humanitarian aid organisations and countries are having difficulty connecting with the current ruling forces in Afghanistan to find ways to deliver aid to the millions of people who are starving and homeless in the cold of winter.

The fact that so many ethnicities and sects coexist and are often in conflict creates a major obstacle to the Taliban’s commitment to an inclusive and comprehensive government. Meanwhile, a series of major countries continued to increase pressure and bluntly announced that they would not recognise or establish relations with the Taliban until Afghanistan formed a comprehensive government, with the participation of all representatives and segments of the society, including women.

With its coordination role, the UN can assist in rebuilding trust within Afghanistan, as well as between the Taliban and the international community. The peace process in the Southwest Asian country is a roadmap that takes a long time to adapt. What needs to be done now is to quickly devise a mechanism to provide emergency humanitarian aid and assist in restoring the peace and stability process in Afghanistan.

Translated by NDO