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Afghanistan

Yearbook 1997

Afghanistan. The Islamist Taliban militia, which already controlled much of the country, moved north from two directions during the winter. Hard fighting was fought between the Taliban and the opposition forces around the important Salang Pass in the Hindukush mountain range north of the capital Kabul, while other Taliban allies approached the opposition's strongholds through the country's northwestern parts. In March, nearly 40,000 civilians were reported to be fleeing the Badghis province in the northwest, and in May the Taliban took over Hindukush.

1997 AfghanistanAccording to Countryaah, the opposition alliance faltered at the end of May when Uzbek general Abdul Malik Pahlawan mutated his superior General Abdul Rashid Dostam, one of the opposition's most important commanders, and placed the Taliban in Mazar-e Sharif, the largest city in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban now held 90% of the country and their final victory seemed close. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia now recognized the Taliban government, while the possibility that its extreme interpretation of Islam would be spread further caused great concern in the Central Asian neighbors. But after only four days, Malik turned to the Taliban again and they were driven out of Mazar-e Sharif during heavy losses. Several months later, mass graves with the remains of up to 2,000 soldiers were discovered, most of them probably Taliban.

The Taliban also lost large areas to Ahmed Shah Massoud, the opposition leader's chief leader. During the rest of the year, neither side achieved any decisive breakthrough on the battlefront. In September, the Taliban made another attempt to capture Mazar-e Sharif but were defeated. The opposition sought to strengthen its loose alliance by calling for an alternative government and in September General Dostam returned after a few months of country escape in Turkey.

The Taliban's harsh Islamic rule continued to arouse upset reactions abroad. The Nordic Afghanistan Committees jointly protested that aid work for women was made impossible. Also, Afghan oppositionists were upset that the entire Afghan culture was being stifled by the ban on imaging all living things, the ban on all worldly pleasures, the discrimination against women, and so on.

In the fall, reports of the danger of widespread famine in the central highlands, which were militarily controlled by opposition forces, came as a result of the blockade of the Taliban. After the Taliban refused to allow trucks with food, the UN began to fly 1,500 tonnes of wheat and potatoes to the most vulnerable.

1997 Afghanistan

That same month, Karzai announced his candidacy for the presidential post. He gets over 20 counter-candidates. Including one of the strongest warlords, Abdul Rashid Dostum. Dostum had been a military adviser to the transitional government. He now resigned from this post and stated at the same time as his candidacy that his goal was to create national unity in Afghanistan. He also urged voters in the northern and central parts of the country to be allowed to register voters. Karzai responded again by declaring that the warlords could become a greater threat to Afghanistan's stability than the Taliban. For a number of international observers, however, Dostum's candidacy was a sign that he put democracy above the violence. The Taliban, on the other hand, boycotted the election.

When the elections were finally held on November 3, 2004, the presidential post was won by Karzai with 55% of the vote. Despite criticism from the opposition on electoral fraud, 3 UN officials investigating the allegations failed to detect any irregularities in the election that significantly upset the outcome.

In an attempt to start peace talks with the Taliban, in January 2005, the United States released 80 suspected Taliban members from its air base in Bagram.

In February 2005, the UN published its first report on the situation in the country - three years after the US invasion. The country remains one of the world's most underdeveloped, and if the situation does not improve, it will develop chaos. The report reported some economic growth, but this growth has not benefited the poor population. Women are still the most malnourished, excluded from political life, subjected to rape, violence and forced marriages, and are the most vulnerable group. Afghanistan continues to have the world's worst education system. 72% of the adult population is illiterate. A quarter of the population lives as refugees in neighboring countries. If the country's problems are not solved, the country is at serious risk of collapsing, which is both an internal threat and a threat to the world community.

Five years after beginning its occupation of Afghanistan, in 2006, the United States abandoned its control of the southern part of the country and instead placed NATO forces from, among other things, UK, Canada and Denmark. Britain had forgotten the doctrine of the last time in the 1880s when the empire last attempted to colonize Afghanistan. Even then, the colonizers were thrown out. To the peoples of Western Europe and Canada, NATO's military efforts were presented as an aid to reconstruction. But already after a few weeks, units of Danish hunter soldiers were sent to Afghanistan to look after the Danish soldiers. And after 4 weeks in the city of Musa Qala in southern Afghanistan, the Danish forces were evacuated to safer areas. Before then, the Danish forces had used thousands of hand grenades in «reconstruction efforts». In October, the United States handed over full military control of the country to NATO, which then had 35,000 occupation troops in the country - 15,000 from the United States itself. While the United States has kept military low profile in the southern part of the country since 2001, NATO's offensive helped to intensify opposition to both the central government and the occupation troops - in exactly the same way as during the Soviet occupation of the country in the 1980s.

 

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