The Afghan peace and the growing risks for civilians

Afghan security soldier near a Jalalabadian jail attacked in August Afghan security soldier near a Jalalabadian jail attacked in August Parwiz/Reuters

06 October 2020

As historic peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban have begun, the number of attacks throughout Afghanistan is on the rise

Following the signing of the United States-Taliban peace agreement last February, for the first time, 34 negotiators initiated direct discussions between the Afghan government and the Taliban for potential peace in Doha (Qatar). Although the initial stalemate was overcome thanks to the mutual willingness to end the war, the substantial divisions over historical, religious and ideological issues as well as the role that the US should play in these negotiations, in addition to a deep mutual distrust, make the success of these discussions doubtful.

Simultaneously, tensions are increasing in Afghanistan, with mutual attacks and several civilian casualties. As Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) reports, 304 people have been killed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) since the negotiations began, numbers that have not been seen since 2010. On 3 October a car bomb exploded near the headquarters of the Nangarhar regional authorities, killing 15 people and wounding 40, with the aim of breaking the palace's defences to allow the attackers to break in. Two days later, there was an attempt on the life of the governor of Mehtar Lam, who escaped unharmed, but the attack resulted in the death of four bodyguards and four civilians, as well as the injury of 28.

The attacks have remained unclaimed and the two sides are blaming each other. Regardless of the motivations, AOAV appealed to the negotiators in Doha to always take into account the effect that their negotiations have on civilians, demanding appropriate measures to ensure their safety.


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Author: Matteo Consiglio; Editor: Margherita Curti

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