Archived Articles - UN Involvement in Afghanistan


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Afghanistan: UN Envoy Warns Violence Could Disrupt Polls (August 24, 2005)

Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Jean Arnault voiced concern that escalating violence in the country could hinder the September elections. The news comes despite claims by Pakistani officials that they have increased border controls to prevent Taliban fighters from crossing into Afghanistan and launching attacks. In a Security Council meeting on the Afghan situation, diplomats also criticized the government's lack of control over the opium industry and faltering efforts to repatriate Afghani civilians living in Iran. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

Afghanistan Faces More Taliban Violence – UN Report (August 16, 2005)

Afghanistan needs $31 million before the September parliamentary and provincial elections, says UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Despite the presence of US and NATO troops, Annan warns of "troubling indications that remnants of the Taliban and other extremist groups are reorganizing." His progress report also urges the nation to remedy drug trade and corruption problems, which hinder reconstruction efforts and cause Afghan citizens to lose faith in their government. (Reuters)

Afghanistan Elections: Endgame or New Beginning? (July 21, 2005)

According to this International Crisis Group report, the September 2005 elections will play a crucial role in stabilizing Afghanistan and achieving sustainable peace. However, the UN and the Afghan government must improve strategic planning of the electoral process and end anti-government activity, particularly cross-border attacks from Pakistan, in order to achieve a successful political transition.

Reconstructing Afghanistan: Measuring Progress (July 2005)

The Center for Strategic and International Studies released a report which examines developments made in Afghanistan's reconstruction since 2002. With the September 2005 elections, Afghanistan stands at a pivotal moment. Security has improved, and great efforts are made in governance and social well-being, but economic opportunities and justice lag behind considerably.

UN Urged to Address Afghan "Rights Crisis" (April 20, 2005)

Human Rights Watch has urged the UN Commission on Human Rights to send more monitors to Afghanistan, where "warlords and armed factions […] still abuse human rights, especially the rights of women and girls." Political repression, extortion and intimidation of civil society groups and aid workers are common in the war-ravaged country. The human rights organization also called on the US to do more to support UN human rights efforts. (AlterNet)

Afghanistan Could Become Terror Haven (February 21, 2005)

A United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Report that measures Afghans' personal security, welfare and ability to control their own lives lists Afghanistan as the sixth least developed country in the world. Despite political progress and a booming economy, nearly three quarters of the adult population is illiterate and warlords continue to widen the gap between rich and poor. The report also criticizes the US intervention in Afghanistan, which "helped produce a climate of fear, intimidation, terror and lawlessness." (Associated Press)

Government Prepares Population Estimates Needed To Create Parliament (January 19, 2005)

Kabul's Central Statistics Office has made an estimate of provincial populations across Afghanistan to determine the number of representatives that each province will send to the new parliament. UN Population Fund officials do not have precise population figures and emphasize that the estimates are "statistical samples, rather than a full census." Parliamentary elections scheduled for April 2005 will likely go ahead without a full census. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)




Karzai Officially Declared Winner (November 4, 2004)

The Joint Electoral Management Body has declared Hamid Karzai the official winner of Afghanistan's first democratic presidential election. However, insurgents linked to the Taliban have kidnapped three UN workers, overshadowing the election results and raising concerns about stability and "democracy" in the country. (Washington Post)

Experts Voice Concern Over 2005 Afghan Parliamentary Elections (October 28, 2004)

Experts predict that Afghanistan's 2005 parliamentary elections will face more difficulties than the 2004 presidential election because "a real transfer of local power will be at stake." Security concerns and unresolved election boundaries pose significant problems for the elections. With a weak central government and widespread police corruption, the prospect of political violence looms large. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

Election No Cause for Complacency (October 22, 2004)

Although Afghanistan's presidential elections went smoothly, Human Rights Watch (HRW) warns that warlords and criminals still have a good chance of becoming part of the new government either through cabinet appointments or through parliamentary elections in 2005. HRW notes that successful elections do not automatically signal a successful democracy, and fears that the international community will mistakenly decide Afghanistan "is now perfect, and there is no need for further international assistance." (Institute for War and Peace Reporting)

Afghan Election Concerns Subside (October 11, 2004)

Afghanistan's first election went smoother than anticipated, with little violence and "massive" voter turnout. Several opposition candidates who had initially threatened to boycott the elections under charges of "multiple voting and ink mix-ups," have agreed to accept the findings of an independent commission on the matter. The turnaround seems to result from international lobbying, not least by US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who made it "clear that they were on the wrong side of Afghan public opinion as well as international wishes." (Washington Post)

Warlords Threaten Integrity of Election (September 29, 2004)

Human Rights Watch reports that warlords are threatening the upcoming elections in Afghanistan through intimidation of voters, candidates, and political organizers. High voter-registration numbers are most likely inaccurate and are leading to a false sense of achievement. With scant security forces and monitors on the ground, the elections are unlikely to succeed.

Stakes High in Afghan Elections (September 21, 2004)

Many observers say elections in Afghanistan are premature, citing failures in security, development of political space, and institution building as causes for worry. In the current environment, factional military leaders could easily use voter intimidation and manipulation of results to cement their hold on power. However, some say continuing with elections is the only viable option to secure legitimacy for democratic practices. (Institute for War and Peace Reporting)

NATO Runs Short of Troops to Expand Afghan Peacekeeping (September 18, 2004)

In October 2003, the Security Council mandated that NATO expand its peacekeeping presence beyond Kabul into provincial Afghanistan. However, governments have been reluctant to contribute troops to the increasingly unstable countryside, thus hindering the expansion of ISAF. Provincial areas, where 80 percent of the population lives, remain open to the influence of drug lords and Taliban forces, undermining the interim government and raising fears about security for the upcoming elections. (New York Times)

Under Attack in Afghanistan, UN Weighs Options (September 13, 2004)

Protests in Afghanistan led to the destruction of two UN offices and the offices of several NGOs. The UN Staff Union standing committee calls on the Secretary General to consider withdrawing staff from field offices amidst deteriorating security. (Inter Press Service)

Taliban Violence, Warlords' Militias Imperil Afghan Vote (July 13, 2004)

The Wall Street Journal describes the "chicken-and-egg" dilemma facing the United Nations in Afghanistan. UN officials believe that only free and fair elections, establishing a truly representative government, will create long-term security in Afghanistan. Yet such elections cannot take place in the absence of security since millions of Afghans, fearing Taliban violence, will not register to vote.

Afghan President Describes Militias as the Top Threat (July 12, 2004)

Afghan President Hamid Karzai views "private militias" and "warlordism" as the greatest menace to peace and security in his country, dismissing threats of Taliban resurgence as "exaggerated." Karzai, aided by the UN Mission in Afghanistan, insists on disarming the militias through peaceful cooperation, rather than by imposing sanctions on the private armies. (New York Times)

Afghan Violence Threatens Election Legitimacy, U.N. Envoy Says (May 28, 2004)

UN envoy to Afghanistan Jean Arnault warns that ongoing violence threatens to undermine upcoming elections. Stating that "the anticipated legitimacy of [the elections'] outcome is predicated upon the legitimacy of the process itself," Arnault calls on the Security Council to aid in disarmament and reintegration programs. Such programs would increase stability in Afghanistan and so increase voter registration and turnout. (UN Wire)

Reintegration of Factional Armies a Priority in Afghanistan (May 20, 2004)

The absence of a strong central government in Afghanistan has rendered the voluntary disarmament of various groups in conflicts problematic, as they are reluctant to give up power amid instability and lawlessness in order to protect their own interests. Delayed elections due to security problems has also raised the question as to whether Afghanistan "will ever be able to stabilize with the present level of support it has been receiving from the international community." (Power and Interest News Report)

The Politics of Afghanistan (April 1, 2004)

This article criticizes the US and the international community for trying to rebuild Afghanistan "on the cheap"— injecting insufficient time, troops and funds. Such tightfisted effort, illustrated by the ill-prepared Afghan elections, can only make the rebuilding of the country fail "with tragic results," argues the Sydney Morning Herald.

Afghan Elections Put Back to September (March 29, 2004)

Despite continuing US pressure to push for early Afghan elections in June, Afghanistan officials have decided to postpone them to September in the face of security problems and difficulties in registering voters. (Guardian)

Afghanistan: Elections Could Worsen Ethnic Divide (February 18, 2004)

While the UN has maintained that insufficient preparations have made parliamentary election impossible to hold on time, the Afghan government is determined to forge ahead with the presidential election to "give the central government greater legitimacy." An expert on Afghanistan, however, has warned that running the two elections separately could aggravate the ethnic divide within the country. (Inter Press Service News Agency)

Slow Voter Registration Makes Elections in Afghanistan by June Unlikely (January 8, 2004)

Registration of voters in Afghanistan is going slower than expected due to the shaky security situation in the country. The UN worries that at the current pace, the registration will not be completed for elections in 2004. (Canadian Press)

Afghan Council Gives Approval to Constitution (January 5, 2004)

After several days of heated debates and behind-the-scenes negotiations, the Loya Jirga approved a new Constitution acceptable to all Afghan factions. The document creates the first Afghan democratic government, both Islamic and accountable, according to the New York Times' optimistic judgment.




The New Tragedy in Afghanistan (December 10, 2003)

This Guardian editorial praises the UN-backed Bonn Accords as a legitimate foundation for political agreement in Afghanistan. Yet the authors argue that the Northern Alliance-dominated transitional government continues to anger other ethnic factions who perpetuate violence in the country.

UN Aims to Disarm Afghan Fighters (December 2, 2003)

This article from the Christian Science Monitor tracks the progress of the UN campaign for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) in Afghanistan. DDR has met some success, but faces difficulty. Said one local commander, "all of my life has been in kalashnikov [guns]."

Afghans' King Receives Draft of Constitution (November 4, 2003)

An Afghan constitutional commission has unveiled a draft constitution for the country. Following its approval, the document provides for presidential elections and the creation of a two-house national assembly. Despite the monarchical fanfare, the constitution gives only a symbolic role to the monarchy. (New York Times)

NATO Agrees to Widen Afghan Force (October 6, 2003)

A NATO official confirmed that a German-led "Provincial Reconstruction Team" (PRT) will deploy to a Northern Afghan town, and that NATO agrees "in principal" to expand the ISAF mission outside the capital city Kabul. This move may expedite the nationwide militia disarmament initiative. (Agence France Presse)

Disarmament and Reintegration in Afghanistan (September 30, 2003)

The Tajik-dominated Afghan Ministry of Defense has substantial influence over the UN-initiated Afghanistan New Beginnings Program (ANBP). Its control may further exacerbate ethnic tensions in the country. This report from International Crisis Group urges all parties to keep the composition of ANBP multi-ethnic and non-partisan.

NATO to Take Command in Afghanistan (August 11, 2003)

NATO prepares to assume the lead role in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The Afghan government welcomes the new arrangement, which will provide continuity to a mission that has so far changed leadership every six months. (Associated Press)

Report of the Secretary General on the Situation in Afghanistan (July 23, 2003)

This report highlights the tenuous security environment in Afghanistan, and warns that continuing instability threatens the provision for national elections reached in the Afghan peace accords of 2001.

Afghanistan Aims to Disarm Private Militias (July 2, 2003)

UN advisors hope to reduce militia violence in Afghanistan by launching a national disarmament program. However, minority ethnicities find it difficult to part with their guns in the lack of a national security system that effectively protects minorities. (Boston Globe)

'Send In the Peacekeepers' (June 18, 2003)

Afghanistan has the lowest ratio of peacekeepers to civilians than any other post-conflict area. Humanitarian aid agencies stress the importance of increasing peacekeeping forces, especially outside Kabul and along major transport routes. (News24)

Taliban Appears to be Regrouped and Well-Funded (May 8, 2003)

The Christian Science Monitor reports that the Taliban still exerts considerable influence in Afghanistan. An expert on the group argues that the Taliban continues to receive covert support from external sources and prepares to launch a new offensive.

Top Official Repeats Appeal For Expanded Force In Afghanistan (May 7, 2003)

In a Security Council briefing, Lakdar Brahimi stressed the importance of increasing the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Brahimi highlighted the necessity of additional forces to prepare for elections in 2004. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

Outside Kabul, Militias Bring Security to Afghanistan (April 24, 2003)

Tribes are forming militias to keep the peace and security in rural areas of Afghanistan. This Christian Science Monitor article warns that the growing influence of these tribal militias could have dramatic repercussions for the government, who is already having difficulty extending its authority beyond Kabul.

Peacekeepers Needed To Facilitate Northern Disarmament (March 12, 2003)

Disarmament efforts will fail in Afghanistan without the support of political and security processes. With rival groups rearming their supporters and masses of small arms still readily available, there is no incentive for fair demilitarization. (Pakistan News Service)

Afghanistan: Between War and Reconstruction: Where Do We Go from Here? (March 2003)

A security vacuum has emerged in Afghanistan that threatens to undermine the entire nation-building effort. This Foreign Policy in Focus report provides recommendations for the reform and strengthening of international donor policy in the country.

Afghanistan: Judicial Reform and Transitional Justice (January 28, 2003)

Afghanistan's legal system has collapsed, and the UN has done little to punish past human rights abuses. This International Crisis Group report points out the importance of the rule of law in the country.




Afghan Leader Downplays al-Qaida Report (December 18, 2002)

Afghan President Hamid Karzai challenges the latest UN report on the al-Qaeda network, denying the existence of any "large-scale camps of training of al-Qaeda or terrorists in Afghanistan." (Associated Press)

Report Indicates Al-Qaeda Still a Big Threat (December 18, 2002)

A new UN report names hundreds of possible members of the Al Qaeda network around the world and warns that the group poses a substantial global threat. The report, which also denounces new training camps in eastern Afghanistan, calls for more coordinated efforts by the international community to combat the threat. (BBC)

Afghanistan Asks for Long-Term Aid (December 17, 2002)

Afghanistan asks the international community for assistance "with rehabilitation and reconstruction by funding long-term recovery" rather than aid such as food and medicine. The amount of aid requested by the country is significantly more than the UN had estimated. (BBC)

Afghanistan: Women Still Not "Liberated" (December 17, 2002)

In a new report, Human Rights Watch calls on the UN and the international community to continue pressing Afghanistan to observe Human Rights. "Many people outside the country believe that Afghan women and girls have had their rights restored. It's just not true," warns the report.

The Afghanistan's Bonn Agreement One Year Later (December 5, 2002)

A year after the Bonn agreement was signed, Human Rights Watch says the international community and the Afghan government have missed opportunities to promote security and protection of human rights in Afghanistan.

Un Envoy Sums Up Achievements of Past Year in Afghanistan (December 3, 2002)

Even though a UN envoy says Afghanistan's situation "is now much clearer, justifying the optimism," he emphasizes the ongoing challenge of maintaining security. The achievements gained so far have come thanks to the efforts of the Afghani people, NGOs and the UN. (BBC)

UN Disarming Afghan Warlords (November 28, 2002)

Although the UN has collected more than 6,000 small arms, 30 tanks and 663 light and heavy arms in Afghanistan, the disarming process has been far slower in north of the country. (BBC)

UN Council to Extend Afghan Force (November 25, 2002)

As the UN extends the security force for one year, no countries have offered to provide additional troops for deployment beyond Kabul. "The situation in Afghanistan still constitutes a threat to international peace and security," says a draft UN resolution. (Associated Press)

UN Hopes for US Backing of International Force in Kabul (November 3, 2002)

The US is reconsidering its opposition to expand the international force in Kabul. While the US remains undecided, the UN's concern grows as Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is trying to form an alliance with remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaida to challenge the Karzai government. (Associated Press)

The United Nations Faces an Afghan Nightmare (October 26, 2002)

While the US and Britain push the UN to rebuild Afghanistan, the UN faces the question of which role it should take. The Guardian analyzes the UN's possible approaches, not only in governing "as a boss" but also helping with technical, humanitarian and educational programs.

No Quick Justice for Afghan War Crimes, UN Says (October 23, 2002)

UN rapporteur for Afghanistan says that although the Afghani people are collectively rebuilding the country, investigations into war crimes committed by all sides "could only begin after an overhaul of Afghanistan's deeply flawed justice system." (Agence France Presse)

UN Wants to Prevent Refugees Returning to Pakistan and Iran (September 19, 2002)

Despite the best efforts of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and hundreds of aid agencies, little infrastructure exists in the war-torn nation to support the return of refugees.(IRIN)

Afghan War Crimes a Low Priority (September 12, 2002)

The Christian Science Monitors deplores the apparent lack of willingness of Western diplomats, UN and Afghan officials to fully investigate the alleged war crimes that took place in Dasht-e Leili.

No Remedy for Atrocities (August 31, 2002)

UN envoy in Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, thinks that "there is no chance soon for a thorough or impartial investigation of the alleged massacre." He explains that, the difficulty of inquiry is not the only problem. A hard choice remains between justice and national reconciliation. (Washington Post)

US Backs Increase in Peacekeepers for Afghanistan (August 30, 2002)

The US, long opposed to the expansion of the international security force in Afghanistan, dramatically shifted its position, now saying that enlarging ISAF outside Kabul would allow US troops to leave sooner. The shift, described as a "mid-course correction," is an important signal for other nations to contribute troops for a peacekeeping effort. (New York Times)

The Death Convoy of Afghanistan (August 26, 2002)

A confidential UN memorandum, leaked to Newsweek, found evidence to justify a "full-fledged criminal investigation" into the deaths of hundreds of Taliban held by the US-backed Northern Alliance. Concerning the "politically sensitive" question of US involvement, the memo recommended a halt of "all activities relevant to this case until a decision is made concerning the final goal of the exercise: criminal trial, truth commission, other etc."

Evidence Awaits in Mass Graves (August 22, 2002 )

Leonard Rubenstein from the Physicians for Human Rights suggests that the US should initiate a Security Council resolution to form a UN commission of inquiry that would conduct a credible and independent investigation. "Otherwise the US risks the very political manipulation of war crimes investigations that it claims (erroneously, I believe) is a flaw in the International Criminal Court."(Washington Post)

Amnesty Slams UN Agency For Sending Afghan Refugees Home (July 29, 2002)

"The London-based human rights watchdog said the time was not right for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to push the "voluntary repatriation" of Afghans." (Agence France Presse)

Afghanistan: Aid Needs Still Overwhelming (July 11, 2002)

IRIN reports that the UN and its partners need "$398 million to continue their humanitarian, recovery and reconstruction work in Afghanistan this quarter." However, Afghan officials complain that foreign donors have "only provided a 'fraction' of governmental aid they promised."

Afghanistan: Warlords Return (July 6, 2002)

Human Rights Watch has monitored the steps leading up to the Loya Jirga since late May. It reports that "warlords are stepping into a power vacuum created when the US-led military coalition failed to support the extension of the International Security Assistance Force," threatening the credibility of the new government.

The Hard Part for the UN Starts Now (July 5, 2002)

The UN mission to Afghanistan will remain militarily weak and politically influential mainly in Kabul. It should use its limited clout to further promote power-sharing arrangements that could preserve the peace and provide the political structure to a strong state. (International Herald Tribune)

NGOs Call for Extension of ISAF Mandate (June 21, 2002)

Concerned by the deteriorating security situation outside Kabul, international NGOs working in Afghanistan sent a letter to the Security Council calling for an expansion of the International Security Assistance Force to northern Afghanistan. (One World)

A Land of Peace, Hope and Anarchy (June 10, 2002)

At a very delicate time for Afghanistan, ethnic rivalries pose a serious threat to the success of the Loya Jirga. The Age reports on the challenges facing the Loya Jirga and the "pressure[…]to find a power-sharing formula to defuse the current tensions."

Confronting the Warlord Culture (June 06, 2002)

By insisting that the United Nations do the ''dirty work'' of nation-building without ensuring a secure foundation upon which to build, President George W. Bush is setting up the UN to fail in Afghanistan, much as his father's policies sowed the seeds for failure in Somalia. (The Boston Globe)

UN Turns Aside Pleas for Wider Afghan Force (May 23, 2002)

The UN Security Council bowed to US demands, and extended for six months the international peacekeeping mission to Afghanistan, without expanding its presence outside Kabul. Experts claim that the growing instability outside the capital could soon force revision of this decision. (Los Angeles Times)

UN Probes Mass Afghan Burial Sites (May 9, 2002)

UN officials complete their initial investigation into three burial sites in Afghanistan "suspected of being mass graves, including one that showed evidence of victims being buried alive." The graves are believed to represent only a fraction of the war crime atrocities committed during the US-led war against Afghanistan. (Swiss Info)

International Forces Have Brought Peace to Kabul, But How Long Will it Last? (May 7, 2002)

In December 2001, the UN Security Council established the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) to counteract the security vacuum in Kabul after the Taliban fled. But Afghan police remain "underpaid, under-equipped and under-trained, and many residents fear for the Afghan capital once the peacekeepers pull out." (Associated Press)

The Evolving President (April 21, 2002)

Although the US has been reluctant expand the multinational peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, the US must provide the means if the Bush Administration wants to reconstruct Afghanistan. (Washington Post)

Dilemmas of Peace Building: Reflections on Turkey's Drive for ISAF Command (April 19, 2002)

Afghanistan's Interim Security Assistance Force is a peace-building, not a peacekeeping operation. As Turkey gets ready to take over ISAF's command, the Turkish Daily argues that understanding the often confusing difference between the two operations is important for success.

Afghanistan Begins Crucial Assembly Selection (April 15, 2002)

Afghanistan is electing delegates to a grand assembly in a process that requires a total of 1,051 representatives by June 2002. UN officials hope the electoral process will signal a decisive step in restoring peace to the war torn country. (Reuters)

Afghan Chaos Isn't Inevitable (April 12, 2002)

Lessons learned from the peacekeeping and nation-building operations in Bosnia may help the current situation in Afghanistan, says the International Herald Tribune.

Multi-Ethnic Military Takes Shape in Kabul (April 4, 2002)

The new Afghan National Guard, trained by international peacekeepers, is the first attempt to forge a military unity among the multi-ethnic groups that have often fought against each other in the past. (Washington Post )

Panel Unveils Rules For Afghan Assembly (April 1, 2002)

An independent Afghan commission finalizes procedures allowing the Afghan Assembly to elect a new government in mid-June 2002. The assembly, known as the loya jirga, "will be virtually the first attempt in Afghanistan's modern history to choose a representative government." (Washington Post)

Procedures for Afghanistan's Emergency Loya Jirga (April 1, 2002)

UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan provides two documents on the Loya Jirga procedure. The first document lays out the procedures for the elections of the members of the emergency Loya Jirga. The second is a follow up document, listing the observations of the election and the audition of complaints arising from it.

UN Limits Its Mission in Rebuilding Afghanistan (March 31, 2002)

Unlike the UN missions in East Timor and Kosovo, the new mission in Afghanistan will "leave most of the responsibility for rebuilding the country with its own government." (New York Times)

Peacekeeping Saves Cents, Makes Sense (March 30, 2002)

Although the Bush Administration is not keen on a "Clintonesque" long-term peacekeeping operation in Afghanistan, staying until the Afghan army is back on its feet seems worthwhile and cost-effective. (National Journal)

UN Security Council Discusses Future of UN Presence in Afghanistan (March 27, 2002)

Secretary General Kofi Annan proposes a UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) based on two pillars, "one for structure and one for relief and assistance." Building on the provisions of the Bonn Agreement, human rights will be central to UNAMA's goals. (Islamic Republic News Agency)

Afghan Peace Force Won't Be Expanded Beyond Kabul (March 19, 2002)

US and UN diplomats reveal that the international security force in Kabul will not be expanded despite calls from the country's interim government to extend the force to provincial cities. (Washington Post)

Report of the Secretary General on the Situation in Afghanistan (March 18, 2002)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan reports on the security situation in Afghanistan. Annan proposes to establish a UN Assistance Mission in the country to fully assist Afghanistan's political and social recovery.

Securing Afghanistan: The Need for More International Action (March 15, 2002)

A significantly expanded international security force is imperative to allow Afghanistan's internal political process and security forces time to develop. (International Crisis Group)

US, Britain Asking Turkey to Oversee Security In Afghanistan (March 14, 2002)

Turkey has agreed in principle to take over the command of the International Security Assistance Force after the current ISAF mandate expires in June 2002. Guarantees of Western financial assistance and US military help are some of Turkey's conditions for acceptance. (Boston Globe)

Bring Security to Afghanistan ; Expand the International Force (March 12, 2002)

UN Human Rights High Commissioner Mary Robinson enumerates what is necessary for the physical and political reconstruction the new Afghanistan. (International Herald Tribune)

The Battle Over Peacekeeping (March 4, 2002)

Wary of repeating the mistakes made during "Mission Creep" in Somalia in 1993, a debate has started in Washington as to how best maintain peace in Afghanistan and to stay impartial among the diverse ethnic groups. (Time)

UN Hesitant To Tackle Afghan Peacekeeping Mission Dilemma (March 4, 2002)

Despite calls to broaden the mandate of the international force in Afghanistan, the Security Council favors the delay of a new decision until the current peacekeeping mandate runs out in June. (Eurasia Insight)

UN Says The Need Is Now For New Afghan Army (February 28, 2002)

UN Special Envoy for Afghanistan Lakhdar Brahimi appeals to the international community for assistance in training and equipping Afghanistan's new army and police force. The resurgence in factional and tribal fighting demonstrates the immediate need for a new national army in the war-devastated country. (Asia Times)

Ethnic Split Grows in Afghanistan's Government (February 19, 2002)

Following the fall of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Afghanistan's interim government faces ethnic divisions threatening to drive the country towards civil war. The interim government is split between members of the "Rome group" consisting of Pashtuns and the more powerful group of Tajiks. (Christian Science Monitor)

Karzai to Call for Change in ISAF Mandate (February 18, 2002)

Afghan interim leader Hamid Karzai will ask for a "stronger role" for the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul in a reaction to the assassination of his aviation minister and tribal clashes in the east of the country. (Agence France Presse)

Annan Calls for More Aid for Afghanistan (February 6, 2002)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan briefs the Security Council following his recent trip to Central Asia. Annan stresses the need to provide Afghanistan with immediate financial aid to ensure that the interim government does not loose credibility. (Xinhua News Agency)

New Afghan Security Force Deployed to Settle Regional Fighting (February 5, 2002)

An Afghan security force under the control of the interim government patrols Mazar-e-Sharif in order to allow the withdrawal and demilitarization of forces loyal to the region's main warlords. Bloody conflicts between warlords prevents Prime Minister Hamid Karzai's attempts to solidify the new government's authority. (Associated Press)

UN Strives to Halt Slide to Anarchy (February 4, 2002)

UN mediators meet with rival warlords in Afghanistan to prevent the tribal disputes from undermining the new interim government in Kabul. (Guardian)

Afghans Seek Larger Security Force (January 29, 2002)

Interim Prime Minister Hamid Karzai wants a larger international peacekeeping force to ensure that Afghanistan does not spiral into war again. (Associated Press)

Afghan Administration Open to Expansion (January 27, 2002)

Afghan interim leader Hamid Karzai considers expanding the size of the international security force and keeping the force beyond the six-months agreed to, under the UN Security Council resolution. (Agence France Presse)

UN Names Afghan Powerbrokers (January 25, 2002)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan names the members of a key commission to oversee Afghanistan's political transition. The task of the 21-member commission is to organize a council of tribal elders, or Loya Jirga, which will in turn appoint a two-year transitional government. (BBC News)

UN Calls For Bigger Afghan Force (January 23, 2002)

UN Special Representative Francesc Vendrell addresses the need for an international security force of 30,000 soldiers to enable the interim government to extend its authority beyond Kabul. The new UN estimate is six times the number expected in Afghanistan by mid-February 2002. (BBC News)

Afghanistan Secures Aid; UN Panel Warns on Security (January 22, 2002)

As Afghanistan secures billions of dollars in aid donations, an expert panel warns the Security Council that peace and security is still under threat. The lawlessness in parts of the shattered country also raises questions over how effective the donations will be. (Reuters)

UN Pleads for More Aid for Afghanistan's New Government (January 15, 2002)

The UN asks foreign governments to increase their financial donations to help Afghanistan's interim government pay its workers. UN officials fear that public support for the interim government could decline if it is unable to pay its 210,000 civil servants and 25,000 police. (New York Times)

Thousands Forced to Eat Grass (January 8, 2002)

International aid agencies warn that thousands may face starvation in Afghanistan, as infrastructure damage has made the delivery of food aid problematic. Agencies also claim that US food drops did little to ameliorate food shortages, as most of the supplies failed to reach affected populations, or were collected by warlords. (Truthout)

Rebuilding Afghanistan (January 7, 2002)

The international community faces the task of Afghanistan's economic reconstruction. The country's socio-economic infrastructure stands destroyed following 22 years of war, a death toll over 1.5 million, and the emigration of 5 million Afghans. (Dawn)

Afghanistan Endorses Plan That Gives Autonomy to British-Led Peacekeepers (January 5, 2002)

Afghanistan's interim government endorsed an agreement to have a multinational peacekeeping force of 4,500 in the country. According to the agreement, the British may patrol without accompanying Afghan soldiers. Though the troops will have full freedom of movement in the territory and airspace of Afghanistan, they will be quartered in Kabul. French and German forces will play a leadership role in the peacekeeping force as well. (New York Times)

UN to Clear Coalition Cluster Bombs (January 2, 2002)

The UN has begun the task of dismantling 25,000 unexploded cluster bombs dropped on Afghanistan by US warplanes. These cluster bombs were responsible for a high rate of civilian casualties in Kosovo, and pose a threat to the safety of returning civilian populations in Afghanistan. (UN Integrated Regional Information Network)

Immediate and Transitional Assistance Program for the Afghan People (January 2002)

The UN Country Team for Afghanistan and UN partner agencies outline a program for urgent post-war reconstruction and development.




UN Planning To Reverse Afghan Exodus (December 27, 2001)

The UN begins the first relocation project in Afghanistan, returning 4,000 refugee families in northern Afghanistan to their homes on the Shomali plain. There are an estimated 3 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and 2.5 million in Iran. (Reuters)

UN Afghan Peacekeepers Can Retaliate If Attacked: Spokesman (December 26, 2001)

UN peacekeepers in Afghanistan will have a more robust mandate than a UN force and will therefore be allowed to retaliate if attacked. UN spokesman Eric flat draws the distinction between UN peacekeepers and a mandated multinational force authorized by the Security Council. (Islamic Republic News Agency)

UN Security Council Approves International Force for Kabul (December 20, 2001)

The UN passed a resolution authorizing a peacekeeping force which may number up to 5,000 troops. The troops will maintain security in and around Kabul "so that the Afghan Interim Authority as well as the personnel of the UN can operate in a secure environment." (New York Times)

Karzai Backs Wider Peacekeeper Role (December 19, 2001)

Some Security Council members want to authorize the peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter which would permit peacekeepers to use force to fulfill their mission. However, Afghanistan's acting foreign minister insists on a Chapter 6 mandate allowing the use of force only in self-defense. (Washington Post)

Britain to Send Up to 1,500 for Security Force (December 18, 2001)

Prime Minister Tony Blair is expecting the Security Council to pass a resolution authorizing the deployment of a UK-led peacekeeping force in Afghanistan. However, the contributing parties and the interim-government in Afghanistan must first agree on the exact composition of the force (New York Times)

Afghan Pre-Loya Jirga Complexities (December 14, 2001)

A socio-historical account of the political and religious evolution of Afghanistan as a political entity before the 18th century and the implications for the current conflict. (Dawn)

UN Envoy Tries to Pave Holes in Road to Coalition (December 12, 2001)

Although the agreement reached in Bonn requires the demilitarization of Kabul, General Muhammad Fahim, the Northern Alliance military leader and the defense minister in the new government, believes otherwise. General Fahim claims soldiers of the Northern Alliance are exempt from this requirement as they are carrying out "police duties." (New York Times)

Security Council Backs Plan for Afghan Government (December 6, 2001)

The Security Council has unanimously approved the agreement for a transitional Afghan government reached in Bonn. However, Russia has called for further consultations with Afghan leaders on the subject of a multinational peacekeeping mission. Diplomats also expect the Council to authorize a UN mission to provide humanitarian relief. (Associated Press)

The Peacemakers (December 6, 2001)

Jane's Information Group provides detailed profiles on the special envoys and representatives designated by the Secretary General. The study pays particular attention to Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN special envoy for Afghanistan, describing his political background and achievements to date.

UN Talks Begin On Peacekeeping In Afghanistan (December 6, 2001)

The UN Security Council is preparing to establish a multinational peacekeeping force in Afghanistan following the new Afghan leader's appeal for foreign intervention. Britain, Germany and Turkey may be the major participants in the international force to ensure security in Kabul. (Washington Post)

Bonn Agreement on Afghanistan's Interim Government (December 5, 2001)

The Afghan factions agreed on an official text establishing a transitional government for Afghanistan.

Talks End With Deal on Leadership for Afghans (December 5, 2001)

Afghan delegates at the UN-sponsored talks in Bonn have reached an agreement on a new post-Taliban government. The interim administration will take power in Kabul on December 22, 2001 under the leadership of Hamid Karzai, a Pashtun leader and relative of the former King. (New York Times)

UN Council Sees Quick Endorsement of Afghan Accord (December 5, 2001)

Members of the Security Council are drafting resolutions endorsing the accord reached among Afghan factions in Bonn. However, a resolution authorizing a multinational force will be put on hold until the US takes out the Taliban and captures Osama bin Laden. (Reuters)

Who is Hamid Karzai? (December 5, 2001)

The Afghan factions at the UN-sponsored talks in Bonn have agreed to establish a six-month interim government led by Hamid Karzai. This article provides background information on Hamid Harzai who fought against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. (Islamic Republic News Agency)

US Says 'Not Yet' To Patrol By Allies in Afghanistan (November 30, 2001)

The US Central Command halted the deployment of thousands of international peacekeepers because "the best intentions in the world, if provided in an uncoordinated way, makes things worse instead of better."

(Washington Post)

Northern Alliance: Interim Council to Run Afghanistan (November 29, 2001)

The four Afghan factions at the UN-sponsored talks are moving toward a formula for a temporary, power-sharing body that would run the country until a traditional, national council can be convened to make longer-term decisions. The Alliance may allow the presence of an international security force, despite its earlier rejection to the idea. (Associated Press)

Alliance at Bonn Talks Rejects Foreign Forces (November 28, 2001)

According to Northern Alliance delegation leader Younus Qanooni, UN proposals for an international security force in Afghanistan are not necessary as "there is security in place." The UN has offered three proposals for a security force to ensure peace in Afghanistan once the Taliban are defeated: an Afghan force, a UN peacekeeping force and an international security force. (Washington Post)

Afghan Conference Won't Bring Unity (November 26, 2001)

As powerful Afghan factions allegedly place little value on the UN-sponsored conference in Bonn, Stratfor
expects that Afghanistan will descend into low-level violence.

Shifts in Afghanistan Casting Doubt on Talks (November 27, 2001)

Private negotiations between warlords on the ground are shifting political realities in Afghanistan which threatens to marginalize the UN-brokered conference in Germany. (Washington Post)

Thousands Face Hunger in Kandahar (November 26, 2001)

The deteriorating security situation in Kandahar is preventing the UN World Food Program and the non-governmental organization Islamic Relief from delivering any supplies as some 230,000 people in the city face possible starvation. (BBC News)

Moderate Taliban Invited to Join Future Government (November 26, 2001)

Burhanuddin Rabbani, the former Afghan president, is inviting Taliban officials to join the future government of Afghanistan. Although the Taliban will not be included as a party, they will not be held guilty as individuals. (Guardian)

Afghanistan Gets Chance to Form Functional Government (November 26, 2001)

UN sponsored talks in Bonn will bring leading Afghan factions together in the biggest effort yet to forge a political solution to one of the world's longest-running conflicts. If successful, the talks could establish the first stable government in Afghanistan since 1970. (Associated Press)

The Kosovo Formula (November 23, 2001)

As delegates negotiate for the future of Afghanistan, the successful general election in Kosovo is evidence that the combination of UN-led, NATO-policed nation-building effort backed by multilateral aid and patience is workable. (Washington Post )

Taliban Asks UN for Help to Surrender (November 21, 2001)

Besieged Taliban forces in the northern city of Kunduz are requesting the UN to arrange their unconditional surrender. However, with no presence on the ground, the UN "cannot unfortunately accede to this request." (Independent)

Afghan Aid Agencies Looted (November 21, 2001)

UN officials report that their offices in Afghanistan have been looted and a convoy carrying 185 tonnes of food was hijacked. Aid agencies are calling on the UN to create a multi-national force to ensure the aid can be distributed safely. (BBC)

City on Edge as Warlords Carve Out Their Territory (November 19, 2001)

Mojahedin commanders are taking control of Kabul following the Taliban's departure. Each leader with his own armed men now control different sectors of the city. "The problem now is that there is no authority," says one commander. (Guardian)

Afghan Opposition Agrees to UN-Sponsored Talks on Power-Sharing Government (November 18, 2001)

The Northern Alliance will participate in UN-led talks to discuss plans for a two-year transitional government backed by a multinational security force as outlined by Lakhdar Brahimi, UN special envoy for Afghanistan. (Associated Press)

Questions on Peacekeeping Force Loom (November 16, 2001)

Everybody agrees on the need for some force in Afghanistan. Yet considering that the UN Security Council "rarely match[es] its enthusiasm for peacekeeping forces with the resources to carry them out," many questions remain unanswered. (Los Angeles Times)

Growing Concern of 'Balkanisation': Tensions Rise In Kabul (November 16, 2001)

Citing the clashes among the alliance and the vested interests of neighboring countries, the UK fears that the Pakistani proposals for a loosely knit federation of Afghanistan's different ethnic groups could lead to the "Balkanisation" of the region. (Independent)

UN Resolution to Provide Security (November 15, 2001)

Responding to the rapid developments in Afghanistan, the Security Council endorsed Lakhdar Brahimi's plan for a political and security solution to the situation in the country. (Associated Press)

Security Council Resolution 1378 (November 14, 2001)

The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution reiterating the "central role" the UN should play in rebuilding post-Taliban Afghanistan.

UN Seeks Meeting of Afghans to Fill Vacuum in Kabul (November 14, 2001)

After the Taliban unexpectedly fled from Kabul, Lakhdar Brahimi proposed a plan to the Security Council, pushing for "urgent action" to prevent a political and security vacuum. (New York Times)

Afghanistan Facing Ethnic Division? (November 14, 2001)

The United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan faces the risk of internal splits. The author fears that ethnic fragmentation and failures to heed requests from allies can result in a "Balkanisation" of Afghanistan. (Institute for War & Peace Reporting)

Eight Nations Meet to Tackle Pressing Problem of Finding Political Alternative to the Taliban (November 12, 2001)

The six neighbors of Afghanistan (Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), as well as the US and Russia, meet to discuss the future of the war-torn country and a future government, that would take into account the country's many ethnic groups. (Associated Press)

UN to Tackle Afghan 'Catastrophe' (November 7, 2001)

The UN will convene an international conference on aid to Afghanistan intended to avert what French President Jacques Chirac called a humanitarian catastrophe. President Chirac insists that money is not the problem but rather organization and drive. (BBC News)

First, Do Not Harm (October 26, 2001)

Globalization has weakened nation-states like Afghanistan. The debate on Afghanistan's political future is now whether foreign intervention promote human rights and democracy or is tainted with self-interested imperialism. (In These Times)

United Nations Comes to the Rescue (October 26, 2001)

When the US's three-week bombing campaign seems to be going nowhere, the imminent arrival of the UN and US special envoys in Afghanistan seems like the key to break the deadlock. (The Times - London )

UN Afghan Envoy Rejects Post-Taliban UN Force (October 25, 2001)

Brahimi, the UN special envoy to Afghanistan, strongly rejected the idea of UN peacekeeping deployment in Afghanistan, and stressed their right to self-determination. (Agence France Presse )

UN Arranges For Post-Taliban Talks (October 25, 2001)

Lakdhar Brahimi, the UN envoy for Afghanistan, is organizing support for a broad-based government to replace the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. (South Nexus)

Turkey Warms up for Peacekeeping, Military Training Missions in Afghanistan (October 18, 2001)

If Turkey takes a strong leading role in Afghanistan, it will prevent the Afghan war from being seen as a "clash between Christians and Muslims". (Associated Press)

First Report of Hunger-Related Deaths (October 18, 2001)

The UN World Food program estimates that 7.5 million people in Afghanistan are facing starvation. Local aid organizations inside Pakistan have already reported 600 hunger-related deaths. (Relief Web)

Afghanistan: As Humanitarian Crisis Builds UN Declines To Be A Part of The Political Solution (October 19, 2001)

The UN has made it clear at the highest level that it does not want to become embroiled in any Afghan peacekeeping operation or transitional administration. In deciding between the roles of humanitarian actor and a political actor, it has opted for the former. Nation building is not on the UN agenda. (EuropaWorld)

Envoy Urges UN Not to Send Peacekeepers (October 17, 2001)

In contrast to the previous article, Brahimi, the N special envoy for Afghanistan, warned that the UN should not "rush" into Afghanistan and set unrealistic goals. (Washington Post)

UN Has to Be "Very Careful" on Peacekeeping Force in Afghanistan (October 17, 2001)

In an interview, Danilo Turk, UN assistant secretary-general for political affairs, cautions that the UN must be "very careful", and "not go to a country where it is not wanted". (Xinhua)

Endgame Afghanistan; Only a Muslim UN Force Can Secure Peace (October 14, 2001)

Because "no Western force would be either useful or acceptable to a majority of Afghans", peacekeepers should be recruited from Muslim countries and operate under the auspices of the Organization of Islamic Conference and the UN. (Independent)

The UN and Nation-Building (October 14, 2001)

The rebuilding effort of Afghanistan will likely fall on UN's shoulders. William Shawcross analyzes the UN's past track record in nation-building missions, and foresees the difficult tasks ahead. (The Scotsman )

US Airstrikes Spur Refugee Surge Toward Pakistani Tribal Areas (October 9, 2001)

According to the UN refugee office in north eastern Afghanistan, "many tribal people are angry at the US attacks on Afghanistan and at the prospect of so many refugees entering their territory." This local resistance is hampering UN efforts in providing humanitarian assistance to the 50,000 refugees they are expecting at five different campsites along the border. (Washington Post)

Books Outweigh Food in Convoy to Famine Area (October 4, 2001)

According to UN field workers in Afghanistan, the UN lacks coordination and resolute efforts. UN aid workers criticize the aid for Afghan children for being nothing but a "publicity stunt". (Herald)

Genocide or Peace (October 2, 2001)

We can feed the starving Afghan millions or mount a military campaign. We can't do both argues George Monbiot. (Guardian)

Restrain the Northern Alliance (October, 2001)

The US and its allies should not take sides in the internal Afghani conflict. The author argues that the only positive thing about the Northern Alliance might be that they oppose the Taliban. (Project Syndicate)

UN Needs $252m As Crisis Worsens (September 27, 2001)

The UN refugee agency is taking emergency measures on the borders of Afghanistan as an exodus of 2.5 million refugees is expected.

(Irish Times)

Who Will Replace the Taliban After the US Topples It? (September 25, 2001)

Even if the Taliban is toppled, the future of Afghanistan remains uncertain. (Hong Kong Ta Kung Pao)

Afghanistan's Refugee Crisis (September 24, 2001)

The terrorist attacks on the US could not have come at a worse time for Afghan refugees. This humanitarian crisis, however, dates back more than 23 years. This article describes the history of the crisis as well as the Taleban's role in escalating the human disaster. (MERIP)

UN Gearing for Humanitarian Catastrophe in Afghanistan (September 18, 2001)

Days before the terrorist attacks in the US, the UN's World Food Program (WPF) raised its estimate of the number of people facing hunger in Afghanistan to 5.5 million. Fearing a counter-strike by the US that would aggravate the humanitarian crisis, the WFP is preparing contingency plans to save the lives of Afghanistan's displaced people. (AFP)

Taliban May Execute Women Aid Workers (August 7, 2001)

The Taliban may execute foreign aid workers accused of converting Muslims to Christianity in Afghanistan. The arrests mark an ominous escalation in the Taliban's battle with the outside world. (Daily Telegraph)

UN Struggling in Afghanistan (May 31, 2001)

The Taliban's restrictions on employing women and its refusal to clamp down on the harassment of aid workers exacerbate an already acrid relationship between the UN and the Taliban. (Washington Post)

Afghanistan's Taliban Toughen Line with World (May 22, 2001)

The Taliban, becoming more isolated by the international community and protesting UN sanctions, shut down the UN office. Of further concern for the international community, the Taliban has proposed that non-Muslim wear distinctive dress so they can be easily identified. (Reuters)

Report of the Secretary General on the Situation in Afghanistan (April 19, 2001)

Kofi Annan warns of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, but states that UN sanctions are not responsible for the current situation.

Taleban Massacres Will Have to Be Punished (March 6, 2001)

The Security Council should support an international investigation on the perpetrators of massacres and send observers to Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch suggests.(International Herald Tribune)

Taliban Ready to Strike a Deal on Bin Laden (February 22, 2001)

Because of the famine and the new sanctions, the Taliban has finally proposed a compromise for Bin Laden extradition. Why not to extradite him to a Muslim country? (Guardian)

Taleban Order Closure of UN Political Office in Kabul (February 14, 2001)

In response to the US decision to close the Afghan office at the UN last week, the Taleban ordered the UN to close its office in Afghanistan. (Agence France Presse)

Taliban Accused of Killing Civilians (January 25, 2001)

Amnesty International accuses the Taliban of killing three hundred civilians in a mass execution, including Afghan humanitarian workers. (Guardian)





Taleban Call Off Peace Talks (December 20, 2000)

The Taleban says that since the new UN sanctions target the Taleban but not the Northern Alliance, the UN can no longer serve as a neutral mediator. (BBC)

Interview With UN Envoy Francesc Vendrell (November 24, 2000)

The Secretary General's representative in Afghanistan discusses the peace process, and notes that the international community will not interact fully with the Taliban until progress is made on terrorism, drug production, human rights and gender issues. (IRIN)

Report of the Secretary General on the Situation in Afghanistan (November 20, 2000)


Taliban and Opposition Forces Are Said to Agree to Peace Talks (November 4, 2000)

The Taliban and opposition have agreed in writing for the first time to UN-sponsored peace talks, says the UN official who brokered the deal. (New York Times)

Afghan Opposition Dismiss Taliban Talks Offer as Insincere (October 24, 2000)

The Taliban declares its readiness for more UN-brokered peace talks. But the motivation of the offer is in question; after all, the Taliban have good reasons to want to win the sympathy of the UN. (Agence France Presse)

Afghan Taliban Demand World Recognition (August 24, 2000)

Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, one of only three countries to recognize the Taliban government, urges the UN community to give the country's seat, currently occupied by the opposition, to the "true representatives of the people of Afghanistan." (Reuters)

Inside the Jihad (August 10, 2000)

An interview of the Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid, who has reported from inside Afghanistan for more than two decades, shares insights he has gained from his extraordinary access to the country and its radical Taliban movement. Rashid believes that "if there is a second round of UN Security Council sanctions against the Taliban, such sanctions will isolate them completely." (Atlantic Unbound)

UN Suspends Mine-Clearing in Afghanistan, Mourning Colleagues (August 8, 2000)

In a gang ambush over the weekend, seven UN workers were murdered. The UN has suspended its operations in Badghis and is conducting an inquiry into the incident.(Deutsche Presse-Agentur)




Child Soldiers for Taliban? Unlikely (December 6, 1999)

Tensions in UN - Taliban relations are illustrated by reactions to a UN report accusing Afghanistan of using child soldiers. (Christian Science Monitor)

UN Starts Curbs on Kabul Over Refuge for Bin Laden (November 15, 1999)

An article from Washington Post about the UN saction on Afghanistan and the response from Pakistan, one of the Taleban's few international allies.

Afghans: We Won't Surrender Bin Laden (October 17, 1999)

An Associated Press article about the rejection from Afghanistan arguing the UN and US violate Afghanistan's sovereignty dealing with the suspected terrorist.

Annan Accuses 'Peacekeepers' for Afghanistan of Taking Sides (September 28, 1999)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has strongly criticised members of the 'six plus two' group - the eight nation group of the US, Russia and Afghanistan's six neighbours - for taking sides in the conflict with some Afghan factions. Formed to adopt "joint strategy towards reaching a peaceful solution of the Afghan conflict," the group has made little progress in achieving a unified approach, with the Taliban launching fresh attacks only a week after the group's meeting in July.

Warring Afghan Factions to Attend UN-Sponsored Peace Talks (July 18, 1999)

Counter to earlier plans to boycott the UN-sponsored peace talks in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on July 19 and 20, the Taliban announced they would join the meeting after all. The talks are aimed at ending the fighting between rival Afghan groups and restoring peace in the war-torn country. (Associated Press)

Afganistan's Record Still Poor on Human Rights (April 8, 1999)

Despite the apparent relaxation of some restrictions on women in Kabul, the United Nations special investigator for Afghanistan said today that Taliban officials had not moved to significantly restore human rights to the country's citizens. (New York Times)

UN Discusses Possible Return to Afghanistan (January 25, 1999)

Article discussing the security accord signed last year between the UN and the Taliban.