Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

US, Afghanistan forces likely to face war crimes investigation, alongside Taliban

< 1 min

Deutsche Welle, 20 November 2017

Quotes of what AAN colleague Ehsan Qaane has to say about the International Criminal Court’s decision to launch warcrimes investigations in Afghanistan:

Ehsan Qaane, a legal and political affairs researcher with the Afghanistan Analysts Network in Kabul, doesn’t want all the excitement over the US-CIA involvement to overshadow where the majority of blame should be directed. “It is understandable that investigation of Americans for the first time by an international tribunal is a big issue at the international level,” he told DW. “However, this will overshadow the Afghan perpetrators, like the Taliban and others, who are responsible for the largest part of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country.”

There will be plenty of obstacles in Afghanistan too, where the government has tried to deter the ICC probe for years and where it will be very difficult to try to arrest alleged perpetrators still in the middle of active conflict.

But Qaane believes it’s a worthwhile pursuit. “For victims it means there is an international body hearing their voices,” he said. While for the insurgents and armed groups, it demonstrates there is more than just the Afghan and American forces to fight, and there’s a “third party that will prosecute them one day.”

Qaane explained that the investigation will also be useful to “name and shame” governments that “close their eyes to perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity.” That will build trust with the Afghan public, he believes.