Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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Ending the Forever War, But Leaving a Legacy of Impunity in Afghanistan

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Just Security, 30 June 2021

Guest article by AIHRC chairwoman Shaharzad Akbar:

While for Western governments the departure of international troops from Afghanistan represents an end to war, civilians harmed by these incidents live with the often-permanent consequences of lives lost and rights violated to this day. Without committing to concrete actions to address these losses, the United States and other international forces will leave behind a legacy of impunity that will impact dearly the lives of Afghans now and into the future. (…)

The legacy of impunity in Afghanistan has taken many lives and contributed to lengthening and intensifying the conflict. As the United States and its allies conclude their direct military presence, they must make amends to the victims and reflect on their contribution to the culture of impunity in Afghanistan. There will be no lasting peace in Afghanistan without a full reckoning of all parties of the war with the legacy of impunity and the rights of victims. If the United States and its allies want to credibly act for prevention of further and worse conflict-related atrocities in Afghanistan, they must begin with holding themselves to account.