Afghanistan

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Inviting a Wolf to the Table: The 2020 US-Taliban Agreement and Questions of State Responsibility

On Sunday 15 August 2021, towards the final phase of the US and other NATO States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban entered Kabul’s abandoned presidential palace, confirmed its control over the country, and announced the restoration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The act was the culmination of a well-organized takeover by the Taliban of 26 out of 34 provincial capitals within ten days. In addition to the over 1000 civilians killed in the span of a month, enforced disappearances, and houses torched as the Taliban asserted its control in new areas, an estimated 244,000 people were forced to flee their homes since foreign forces began their withdrawal in May 2021. While the Taliban expressed its aim to form an “open, inclusive Islamic government”, the memory of the fundamentalist and violent Taliban rule in the period 1996-2001 raised alarm among the population of what the content of such “open, inclusive Islamic government” may look like. Rather than being a mere consequence of US withdrawal, the Taliban’s takeover can be traced back to a…

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Will the Taliban Represent Afghanistan at the UN General Assembly?

The work of the Credentials Committee of the General Assembly is normally procedural. Typically, the Committee reviews the credentials submitted by state representatives, and ensures they comply with the Assembly’s procedural rules.  The Committee is scarcely ever called upon to consider matters of government legitimacy.  In stark contrast to this status quo, it seems this year’s…

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The Endless War Against Human Rights in Afghanistan: Human Rights Defenders’ Joint Statement of Solidarity with the People of Afghanistan

Today, the 31st of August 2021, marks the official deadline for withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan after twenty years of military presence initially motivated by the 9/11 attacks of Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden.  Many have written (including Henry Kissinger) about the failures of American foreign policy and its efforts at nation-building…

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The Afghan War and the Responsibility to Rebuild

1. The fall of Kabul and Joe Biden's speech of 16 August 2021 With the fall of Kabul on August 15, 2021 and US troops hastily withdrawing from Afghanistan, a process still ongoing at the time of writing this contribution (17 August 2021) an intervention and also an experiment lasting almost two decades has come to an end.

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Extraterritorial Investigations in Hanan v. Germany; Extraterritorial Assassinations in New Interstate Claim Filed by Ukraine against Russia

In this post I will discuss two recent developments on the extraterritoriality of human rights front – the judgment of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in Hanan v. Germany, no. 4871/16, on the compliance with Article 2 ECHR of the investigation by German authorities into the Kunduz incident in Afghanistan,…

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