Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, September 24th, 2021

The Moral and Legal Responsibility of the United Nations about the puzzle of Afghanistan

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The Moral and Legal Responsibility of the United  Nations about the puzzle of Afghanistan

Although mediating and resolving disputes between hostile groups and countries is one of the most important responsibilities of the United Nations, this organization has played no conclusive role in resolving the conflict of Afghanistan. During the occupation of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union, it failed to play a preventive role to attack Afghanistan. The Soviet Union attack on Afghanistan not only influenced the peace and security of 25 million people in Afghanistan but also threatened world peace and security. Many regional and world countries had been affected by the aggressive war but the United Nations has even failed to take a firm stance against the Soviet military occupation or to issue a serious and practical resolution about Afghanistan. According to historic records, sometimes it condemned the aggression without naming the aggressor. 
The United Nations also failed to play a constructive role after the defeat of the Soviet Union aggression in Afghanistan.  After nearly one decade of war and conflicts, the United Nations was morally and legally expected to play its conclusive role in putting an end to the conflicts in the country by mediating between the Najib government and the Mojahedin, but it failed to do so. However, it had been able to pave the way for the withdrawal of the Soviet Union troops from Afghanistan as part of its diplomatic efforts under the 1988 agreement, and likewise, it made some efforts under the framework of the national reconciliation process but in practice, none of these efforts had led to peace and stability and has not ended yet in the country. As a result of these indifferences, the government of Najib collapsed paving the way for the formation of an Islamic government led by the Mojahedin leaders while it neither had the experience of governance nor a clear definition of the Islamic system. Therefore, Mojahedin leaders failed to show any capacity in governance and in an establishment of a functional system in the country. As a result, civil wars broke out between Mojahedin groups in the country which marked a new phase of the insecurity crisis in Afghanistan. During the rule of the Mojahedin, although the United Nations made some efforts for peace and security and for reconciliation between rival groups through its special envoys, these efforts did not yield tangible results. According to the United Nations, the war of Mojahedin was a civil war and so the United Nations Security Council did not consider it as its duty to intervene. Therefore, the UN Special Representative sought to resolve the Afghan issue through compromise with the relative participation of all groups in power, but it neglected the role of external factors in the country crisis. During the Taliban regime while there was much evidence that Taliban violated human rights in the country, but the United Nations did not break its silence. Even it did not seriously react against the systematic massacres of other ethnic groups, especially the Hazaras in Mazar and Yawalang and also other Harazas who were forced to migrate. It can be said that the United Nations was indifferent to the Taliban’s actions against other tribes and groups, and has refrained from exerting serious political and economic pressure on the Taliban. The economic, political, and military sanctions which later imposed were because of their linkage to al-Qaeda terrorist group.
Unlike the above historic cases, the UN has played some constructive role in the establishment of the new political order in the post-Taliban era. In fact, the United Nations made its utmost efforts and assistance with Afghanistan within the first years of the new political system but with the decline of other international assistance, it has also decreased its activities and support from Afghanistan.  At the present, despite the fact that the country burns in the fire of war and plunder, the houses are burned; Children and women are massacred; millions of the civilians are displaced; the war crime and crime against humanity repeatedly occur but this organization does nothing other than issuing some statement or reporting the causalities.
In following the latest UNAMA  report that some 1,659 civilians were killed and another 3,254 wounded – a 47 percent increase compared with the same period last year since the beginning of the current year, there were many questions that what was your (the UN) role in the reduction of these causalities in Afghanistan? How many of the war perpetrators, especially the perpetrators’ war crimes have been penalized yet? How many fruitful meetings have been held at the UN General Assembly or the Security Council on the 40-year war in Afghanistan? How many war criminals have been, penalized, sanctioned, or blacklisted during this period? And eventually, why the UN can put an end to the war in other countries such as the Colombian government and the FARC, South Sudan, Libya, Balkans, and so forth but in the case of Afghanistan, it does nothing other than issuing statements or counting the number of victims?
By and large, the world has much bigger problems than re-engaging in conflicts of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the political puzzle of Afghanistan seems so complicated and multilayered that none of the political stakeholders is able to put an end to the endless conflicts. All the major stakeholders have already failed to make a regional and international consensus about Afghanistan because of the distrusts and interest conflicts.
The experience also shows that the stakeholders of the conflicts cannot be a good mediator and so there is a need for an impartial party to intermediate.  No impartial party is capable than the UN provided that it shows firm will and honesty in ending this tragedy. Hence, it is high time for the UN to play its active and honest role in ending the conflict in Afghanistan. The impartial and honest intermediation of the UN can create confidence and builds consensus at the regional and international levels.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail com.

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