Afghanistan Border Map

Yearbook 2003

Afghanistan. In May, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said Afghanistan had entered “a stage of stability and reconstruction”. Only “minor resistance pockets” remained, he argued. According to Countryaah, Afghanistan Independence Day is August 19. The reality was another. During the rest of the year, about 400 people were killed in attacks or fighting. The Taliban militia was increasingly focusing on sabotaging reconstruction projects and trying to scare Afghans not to work for foreign organizations or companies.

Following the assassination of a female French UN official in November, the UNHCR refugee agency ceased operations in the eastern and southern provinces, which were partially reinstated by the Taliban. In the north and northwest, close battles between warlords were formally loyal to the US-backed regime.

President Hamid Karzai made repeated attempts to extend his power outside the capital. Some governors were given new assignments and the dreaded provincial leader Ismail Khan was removed from the post of military commander in Herat. Governors who earned huge sums on customs duties were forced to start sharing with the Treasury.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that Afghanistan’s economy grew by about 20% during the year, excluding opium production. This increased by 6% to about 3,600 tonnes – about 75% of world production. UN experts warned that Afghanistan could become a country ruled by drug cartels. Among those who serve in the drug trade are both the Taliban and the terror network al-Qaeda as well as governors and senior officers in the US-backed army. The government decided to reduce food imports to encourage opium farmers to switch to other crops. At the same time, one bright spot was that Afghanistan could salvage the best “legal” harvest in a couple of decades, thanks to favorable rain.

In December, 500 elected delegates from all over the country gathered for a council meeting, Loya Jirga, to adopt a new constitution. Independent organizations and UN representatives criticized the constitution for not balancing the presidential power with a strong parliament. The debate during the meeting became fierce and continued over the turn of the year.

Earlier in the year, both a UN reporter and Amnesty International had raised alarms about screaming deficiencies in the justice system and the police. Human Rights Watch reported widespread violations of human rights, in particular violence against women and children. Several government members and senior officers were accused of acquiring attractive plot of land in the capital, Kabul, by driving away hundreds of poor city dwellers and demolishing their homes.

In August, NATO took over responsibility for the international peacekeeping force ISAF, which with about 4,600 men protects Kabul. The outgoing German commander said beforehand that ISAF would need to be strengthened by at least 10,000 men in order to make real use of it.

In the first half of 2014, 1564 Afghan civilians were killed and 3289 wounded during the armed conflict in the country. Acc. authorities were responsible for 70% of the Taliban killings and other rebel groups. There was a doubling in the loss figure for 2009 and a 24% increase for the same period in 2013.

In May 2014, the British national court knew the detention policy the British occupation forces had used in Afghanistan for illegal. This happened after the investigation of Serdar Mohammed’s case. He had been detained by the British forces since 2010. The court found that detention beyond the permitted 96 hours had been arbitrary and contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights. Following the ruling, the Afghan authorities ordered Britain to extradite 23 detainees from two British prisons in Helmand province.

During 2014, the number of Afghan journalists killed increased by 50% compared to the previous year. The killings were committed by Afghan security forces, NATO forces, the Taliban and militia of political candidates running for election.

The two Afghan brothers, 23-year-old Vahid and 16-year-old Abolfazl Vaziri were deported by Denmark to Afghanistan in June 2015. They had been in Denmark for 5 years, where they had initially been accepted as unaccompanied refugee children. But in 2012, the Danish authorities decided not to grant asylum to the brothers. It was. authorities “safe” to send them back to Afghanistan. A few months after the return, 16-year-old Abolfazl was killed and Vahid had fled to Iran. In 2015, Denmark expelled 599 asylum seekers, 85 of whom went to Afghanistan.

Throughout 2015, the Taliban stepped up its military activities. In June, an offensive began in Helmand province, which at the end of the year was almost entirely on the hands of the Taliban.

In October 2015, the Taliban captured the provincial capital of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. The government then launched a counter-attack to recapture Kunduz, backed by North American aircraft. On October 3, the North American aircraft bombed a hospital in the city run by MSF. Twelve of MSF’s employees were killed and 10 patients. Attacks in hospitals are a serious war crime after the Geneva Convention and the MSF subsequently called for the establishment of an Independent Investigation Commission. An invitation supported by the International Red Cross. No North American soldiers were subsequently prosecuted for the war crime. The US attack meant that other belligerent states also felt entitled to attack hospitals. In January 2016, aircraft from Saudi Arabia attacked an MSF-powered Yemen hospital with missiles. However, the greatest experience in the field lay in Israel, which for seven years had regularly attacked hospitals in Gaza with bombs.

Afghanistan Border Map