State new beginning
The overthrow of the Taliban required a political reorganization of Afghanistan with international mediation. The Afghanistan conference, which took place on the Petersberg near Bonn from November 27 to December 5, 2001 and was chaired by the UN and attended by important political and ethnic (exile) groups in Afghanistan, reached a framework agreement for an interim order with a transitional government, Elections and a constituent loya jirga. The Pashtun H. Karzai became President of the Provisional Government definitely; Key positions (foreign, interior and defense ministries) were assigned to the Northern Alliance (inauguration on December 22, 2001. To safeguard the transitional government, the UN Security Council decided on December 20, 2001 to deploy an international peacekeeping force (ISAF). The Loya Jirga elected Karzai as President of Afghanistan in 2002. A constituent Loya Jirga passed a new constitution on January 4, 2004. The first direct election of the President on October 9, 2004, with a total of 18 candidates (including one woman), was won Karzai in the first ballot (swearing in on December 7, 2004). The parliament elected on September 18, 2005 (very heterogeneous composition of MPs, including warlords, Mujahedin and former Taliban, but also numerous women) was constituted on December 19, 2005 in Kabul. This brought the political transition process initiated with the Petersberg Afghanistan Conference to a formal conclusion.
2002 reached Karzai the US commitment to a long-term partnership with Afghanistan (including loans and assistance in building an Afghan army). The country’s reconstruction was financially supported by international donor conferences in 2002 and 2004. Further conferences with financial commitments for reconstruction aid followed in 2006 and 2008. At the 2011 Afghanistan Conference, the international community adopted guidelines for the partnership in order to ensure a successful transformation after the transition phase (by the end of 2014). In 2002 the UN Security Council also mandated the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). After the fall of the Taliban, well over 1,000 aid organizations became active in Afghanistan; they were mainly concentrated in Kabul,
The peace process was able to be adhered to, albeit with a considerable delay, but it was also accompanied by acts of violence, repression and disregard for democratic principles. A major problem turned out to be that Afghanistan was divided into many war principalities. There were repeated armed clashes between commanders over regional areas of influence, which significantly worsened the security situation. Since 2006, various military offensives have been directed against the strengthening Taliban.
President Karzai’s power was essentially limited to Kabul and the surrounding area. The establishment of a state monopoly on the use of force (building up the army and police) and programs to disarm the militia resulted in many setbacks. In addition, Afghanistan rose again to become the most important drug producer. The return of well over 1 million refugees aggravated the supply situation, especially in the cities.
Power struggles and other conflicts
The presidential election in August 2009 was accompanied by numerous irregularities. Due to allegations of fraud, the Election Complaints Commission declared hundreds of thousands of votes to be invalid. Finally, a 49.67% share of the vote was determined for Karzai. The electoral commission put a casting vote on November 7, 2009 between Karzai and the strongest challenger, the former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah (* 1960). The latter declared that he would not take part in the runoff election, as he did not consider it to be assured that it would be carried out properly. Then Karzai became declared the election winner. The parliamentary elections on September 18, 2010 were overshadowed by attacks and irregularities. In the lower house, which was constituted on January 26, 2011, Pashtun MPs now formed the majority.
In 2011, the US began to reduce its troops, although the security situation remained tense, particularly due to increased terrorist acts by the Taliban. Even after local forces officially assumed responsibility for security in the country on June 18, 2013, there were numerous acts of violence, such as attacks on the presidential palace and the CIA branch in Kabul in June 2013. President Karzai was also accused of susceptibility to corruption, nepotism and the taking of advantage. A security agreement with the USA, which was supposed to regulate the presence of US instructors and special forces after 2014, did not materialize.
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In the first round of the presidential elections on April 5, 2014, in which Karzai was not allowed to run again after two terms in office, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah emerged victorious with 45% of the vote. Former Finance Minister A. Ghani followed in second place with around 32% of the vote. There was a runoff election between the two candidates on June 14, 2014. According to the electoral commission , Ghani won it with 56.4% of the vote. Abdullah, who officially made up43.6% of the votes, refused to recognize the result and alleged electoral fraud. With the mediation of the USA, an agreement was reached on a recounting of the votes. But this was from Abdullah questioned. In response to international pressure, the two candidates finally signed an agreement on 9/21/2014 on power-sharing and the formation of a government of national unity. Sworn in as President on September 29, 2014, Ghani appointed Abdullah Chief Executive of Government Affairs. The blocked security agreement with the USA was signed on September 30, 2014. An agreement has also been reached with NATO. This was a condition for the follow-up mission “Resolute Support” after the end of the ISAF mission on December 31, 2014.
After months of negotiations, the government and the rebel group under the warlord G. Hekmatyar concluded a peace and reconciliation agreement on September 29, 2016. Hekmaytar returned to Afghanistan in May 2017 after long years in exile. To stabilize the situation, in 2018 NATO increased the number of its forces in the “Resolute Support” mission by 3,000 to 16,000.
Armed conflicts and terrorist attacks by the Taliban and also by the » Islamic State «(IS) continued to be the main obstacle to stabilizing the country. In some provinces, ISIS and the Taliban also fought each other. From 2015 onwards, the Taliban launched some spectacular attacks on large cities, including Kunduz, Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif. The elections, which were constitutionally due in April 2015, were suspended and took place in October 2018. At the constituent meeting on April 26, 2019, some of the seats remained vacant due to allegations of election fraud. The presidential and local elections scheduled for April 2019 have been postponed twice, most recently to September 28, 2019. 18 presidential candidates have registered, including incumbent Ghani.