Afghanistan. The military situation deteriorated
dramatically during the year. In the southern and eastern
provinces, international forces were drawn into more and
more bloody battles against Taliban and other armed
movements. The Taliban appeared with a greater degree of
awareness than before, indicating both a more effective
organization and a radicalized ideology similar to that
expressed by the terror network al-Qaeda.
In July, the NATO-led peacekeeping force ISAF assumed
command of all military operations in the southern provinces
and in October for the entire country. About 12,000 US
soldiers were included in ISAF and placed under non-US
command - a very unusual phenomenon - while the remaining
8,000 Americans completely devoted themselves to the hunt
for al-Qaeda in the eastern border. According to CountryAAH, British, Canadians and
Dutch were involved in some of the toughest fighting since
NATO was formed in the fall. At the beginning of the year,
Sweden, with an increased force of about 200 men, commanded ISAF in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif.
Up to the end of the year, fighting and assaults were
estimated to have claimed more than 3,800 lives, of which
more than 1,000 civilians. Some 80 suicide attacks had been
carried out, and according to an investigation, around 600
armed attacks or other forms of attacks per month occurred
at the end of the year. The increased number of civilian
victims has diluted the public's dissatisfaction with the
United States in particular. When US military vehicles were
pulled over in a traffic accident in Kabul in May, bloody
rattles broke out.
The disarmament of armed movements linked to the
government, which began in 2003, was then completed just
over 63,000 people left their weapons. But there are still
estimated to be about 200 armed groups in the country -
insurgency movements, drug lords and other criminal gangs.
The worsening war situation meant that the fight against
drugs was almost stopped. Afghanistan received a record crop
of opium of about 6,100 tonnes, corresponding to 92 percent
of world production. In some provinces, production more than
doubled during the year. Illegal drug trafficking is
estimated to account for at least one-third of the country's
economy and employing one in ten residents.
President Hamid Karzai had trouble getting through some
appointments. Only in August was the new government
complete, almost a year after the parliamentary elections,
after Parliament rejected several of the president's
proposals. Parliament also refused to give renewed
confidence in the religious fundamentalist who led the
Supreme Court's work since 2001. A United States-trained
lawyer took his place.
In July 2015, it was announced that Taliban leader Mullah
Omar had died in April 2013 of tuberculosis. However, the
Taliban had kept it a secret until 2015. The announcement of
Omar's death sparked a power struggle in the Taliban,
initially choosing Akhtar Mansour as the new leader.
However, the election was criticized by other parts of the
movement and in November came the serious fighting between
various Taliban factions in Zabul province. The Taliban was
split on the issue of continued affiliation with al Qaeda or
joining IS. IS had emerged since the summer of 2014, and
this movement has a tradition of hitting hard on rivals. 100
partisans were killed during the internal Taliban uprising
At a January 2016 meeting between representatives from
Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States, a
framework for peace talks with the Taliban was agreed.
However, the process did not go far, as the Taliban demanded
at a subsequent Doha negotiation meeting that all foreign
forces should leave Afghanistan and that Taliban members
should be removed from the UN terror list before actual
negotiations could be initiated.
In February, President Ghani appointed prominent human
rights lawyer Mohammad Farid Hamidi as state attorney. That
same month, the government created a fund to support female
survivors of gender-based violence. Government members
donated 15% of their February salary to support the fund.
After several years of negotiations, the government
signed a peace agreement in September with the country's
second largest rebel group, Hezb-i-Islami, led by Gulbuddin
Hekmatyar. As part of the agreement, the group was granted
amnesty for the crimes it had committed during the Civil War
and its imprisoned members were released.
In October, an international donor conference was held in
Brussels, with the international community committed to
giving Afghanistan $ 15.2 billion. US $ in development
assistance. Shortly before, the EU and Afghanistan had
signed an agreement under which Afghanistan undertook to
accept an unlimited number of unwanted Afghan asylum seekers
in the EU. This happened despite the increasingly serious
security situation in the country. 1.4 million Afghans were
internally displaced - double the number according to 2013 -
and 2.3 million were displaced. had fled the country. The
Taliban stepped up the fighting in September and October for
the purpose of conquering entire provinces. In October, the
movement occupied the provincial capital of Kunduz.
In the first 9 months of 2016, the conflict had 8,397
civilian victims, of which 23% were responsible for
government. During the year, the Taliban and especially IS
carried out huge bloody attacks that cost hundreds of