Afghanistan, a story of tragedy: From Taliban to Taliban ! Diagnosis- conclusions and lessons learned (2)

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By Dr.Mohammed Berraou*

 

 

Bonn agreement

Building new governance structure

After the fall of Kabul in November 2001, UN security council resolution 1378 ( November 14, 2001) called for a leading role for the UN in establishing political transition framework and inviting UN members to participate in the later called ISAF in order to secure both political reconstruction and aid delivery.

Bonn (or Petersberg) agreement established first a transitional administration due to manage afghan political and administrative affairs until the endorsement of a new constitution, the agreement which was endorsed by security council resolution 1386 (December 6, 2001) suffered the absence of anti American Pashtuns but enjoyed a full interesting support by the Iranians. Rabbani ceded the leadership to Karzai as a president of the interim government. Main provisions of the agreement:
The mix of Islam, democracy and human rights (it set up the Afghanistan independent human rights commission), as basic foundations of the government,
“Noting that these interim arrangements are intended as a first step toward the establishment of a broad-based, gender-sensitive, multi-ethnic and fully representative government”,

But extended the application of the constitution of 1964 temporarily,
Emphasizes the need to cooperate with the international community to fight terrorism and narcotics, and finally but most importantly, “An Emergency Loya Jirga shall be convened within six months of the establishment of the Interim Authority. The Emergency Loya Jirga will be opened by Mohammed Zaher, the former King of Afghanistan.
The Emergency Loya Jirga shall decide on a Transitional Authority, including a broad-based transitional administration, to lead Afghanistan until such time as a fully representative government can be elected through free and fair elections to be held no later than two years from the date of the convening of the Emergency Loya Jirga”.
The constitution, conclude on January 4 set up a presidential style regime, including the presidential power to appoint cabinet ministers and members of the Supreme Court (after a confirmation of the national assembly). He is also the commander in chief of the army… (these powers were intended to ease the Pashtun concern of any possible hegemony of the other ethnic victorious groups on the political system), an elected president for a five years term with only two term limit, and a separately elected parliament.

The Loya Jirga events had demonstrated that the non Taliban fundamentalists led by Burhanuddine Rabbani and Abdul Rasul Sayyaf were still powerful due to the intimidation they exercise and they will continue to push on Islamic issues by using the highly conservative afghan judiciary to support their pro-sharia demands.( Rashid, A : Afghanistan 2004- the year ahead , daily times, 1-1-2004). At the same time Taliban gathered their forces, benefiting from financial and logistical support from their allies in Pakistan and from outside the country, “the money comes not only from Osama bin laden’s network, but the extremist islamist groups in Pakistan that have long backed the Taliban, and from the opium trade”, said an afghan army chief of staff to Ahmed Rashid, in: AL-Qaeda bankrolls Afghan Attacks, Daily telegraph, 27-07-2004. karzai called for more cooperation from the Pakistani authorities to capture members of Al-Qaeda from its tribal territories, and to prevent them from jeopardizing the political and the security reconstruction process.

Security conditions precluded the holding of the first post-Taliban elections, but “ the inability of terrorists to disrupt the polls amid a massive security drive was a major victory for the Karzai government and US forces” ( Rashid, A: Afghan crisis, wall street journal,11-10-2004), the first elections, for president, was held on October 9, 2004, missing a June constitutional deadline, on November 3, 2004 Karzai was declared winner(55.4% of the vote), avoiding a runoff (though mainly challenged by speaker younous kanouni), parliamentary and provincial council elections were intended for April-may 2005 but were delayed until September 18, 2005.(Kartzman, op.cit p6). And because of problems related to confirming voter registration rolls and determining district boundaries, elections for the 364 district councils, have not been held to date. The assembly set up by the constitution in order to be a check and balance power consists of two houses, a lower and upper one. The process confirming Katrzai’s second term cabinet – in which many of Karzai’s nominees were voted down in several nomination rounds during 2010 “demonstrates that the assembly is an increasingly strong institution that is pressing for honest, competent governance, these principles are advocated most insistently , although not exclusively , by the younger, more technocratic independent bloc in the lower house”( Kartzman, ibid, p8).the higher turnout(about 80%) is also “a boost to US president W. Bush who has cited free afghan elections as an example of success in the war against terrorism”( Rashid, A , ibid). the success of the elections , though challenged by accusations of irregularities, was strategically aimed to send a message to many Taliban so that they realize that the best approach is to reintegrate the political process!

To be followed
Next: multiple challenges facing Bonn agreement

*Mohammed Berraou is a PhD Holder from Morocco-
He is a Senior researcher and expert in Afghanistan Central Asia and Caucasus
He has performed many university essays in this topic from the year 1989 (the soviet withdrawal) onwards.
Email: [email protected]

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