The remnants of war make it difficult to achieve peace in Afghanistan

A 30-year-old police officer and father of two, Ruhollah Nbizada, returned to work in the capital of Ghazni province in the hope that peace talks between the United States and the Taliban would reduce violence. «Humvee» on May 22, was enough to disperse


A 30-year-old police officer and father of two, Ruhollah Nbizada, returned to work in the capital of Ghazni province in the hope that peace talks between the United States and the Taliban would reduce violence. «Humvee» on May 22, was enough to dispel this hope. Nbizada became the first member of his family to lose his life because of this cruel war that entered its 18th year. Like thousands of Afghans, Nbizada was returned home to his mother in a wooden box. Every morning, when the sun shines on the remote village of Soka in the Malestan district of Ghazni province, Nadezda's mother Khadija can not hold herself to cry. Her son was buried in front of the family home on a hilltop dedicated to fallen soldiers. Sadness goes deep and it collapses regularly.

"They can not be tolerated," she said. "We will not forgive them. His mother will not forgive them."

In July 2018, the United States launched direct talks with the Taliban to end the war, but on the ground the fighting continued, killing many members of the government security forces and the Taliban insurgents, and deepening the country's wounds. In late June and early July violence mounted throughout the country, even when the US Special Envoy for Afghan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, sat down to talk to a Taliban delegation led by Deputy Speaker Mullah Baradar in Doha.

Dr. Orzala Ashraf Nemat, who runs the research and evaluation unit in Afghanistan, says both Washington and the Taliban want to negotiate from a position of strength. Naimat explained that as Washington and the Taliban intensified their talks, brutal fighting also intensified across the country.

On July 1, the third day of the seventh round of peace talks between US diplomats and Taliban negotiators, Taliban fighters stormed a military facility in Kabul with a car loaded with explosives. The attack sent a smoke tower over Kabul and shook the whole city. After the explosion, five Taliban fighters exchanged bullets with security forces. The attack wounded 52 students of a nearby private school in an exchange of fire.

On the same day as the Kabul bombing, senior US diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad announced a dialogue in Afghanistan between July 7 and July 8. After talks with the Taliban in Doha on July 6, Khalilzad temporarily suspended negotiations until the Afghan talks were held. "The last six days of the talks have been the most productive so far," he said.

The shedding of blood

But on the ground, the six days of the talks coincided with the bloodshed. Several attacks have killed dozens of fighters from both sides. At least 264 pro-government forces and 58 civilians have been killed across the country, the highest death toll in 2019, according to the New York Times.

On July 7, even when a group of Afghan activists, members of Afghan civil society and politicians sat face to face with Taliban officials, fighters loaded a truck with explosives and rushed to hit the Afghan intelligence office in the capital of eastern Ghazni province.

Independent political activist Dawood Naji believes that previous peace talks failed because of the lack of a ceasefire. "There is a fire devouring people," he said. Are they ready for a two-year ceasefire before any peace agreement? "

Naji called on the Taliban to come to Kabul and open an office to pursue their political interests. "Who knows, I might form a friendship with a Taliban fighter, and they might think we are Muslims like them," he said, but the Taliban demanded full withdrawal of foreign forces before any An agreement to hold peace talks with the Afghan government or to declare a cease-fire.

However, many hoped that the current peace talks would lead to some kind of agreement between the United States and the Taliban. "It's easy to deal with the United States, but making peace with each other is much more complicated," said Nizar Mohammed Mo'men, a political analyst in Kabul. The continued policy of fighting on the one hand and the dialogue on the other between the Afghan government and the Taliban movement could lead to increased violence throughout the country.

"There is a difference between the political peace process and the social peace process," said Rahim Hamidi, a peace activist. "The more violence, the less nonviolent." It seems that the escalating war only widened the gap between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Over the last two decades of the insurgency, more than 100,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands injured. The devastation of war has reached nearly every family in Afghanistan, making it difficult to reconcile those who were fighting for the government and those who were in the Taliban. A former Taliban official said the war victims on both sides want peace more than anyone else. "War victims may want to end the war, but real reconciliation is far away." Thousands were killed by suicide bombings, air raids and shooting.

The war lasted a long time and caused so much pain that the resolution of the conflict is now more complicated than the withdrawal of US troops, or even an agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban. The scars of war remain on the hearts of thousands of rural people.

Continued fighting policy on the one hand and dialogue on the other, between the Afghan government and the Taliban, could lead to increased violence across the country.

The devastation of the war has reached almost every Afghan family, making it difficult to reconcile those who fought for the government and those who were in the ranks of the Taliban.

ref: emara