Afghanistan

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Ashraf Ghani’s ambitions to divert the Helmand River now serve his enemy, the Taliban: an International Law perspective

One tragedy follows another in Afghanistan. Occurring amid many other dramatic events, the diversion of the Helmand (Hirmand) River, which flows through Afghanistan and Iran, by the Taliban in January 2022 was almost lost in the news. This deliberate act can cause huge economic losses, degrade entire ecosystems, and threaten the lives of those dependent upon its waters. The question is whether or not Afghanistan is legally permitted to call upon its sovereign right to divert the natural course of the Helmand River to the detriment of the livelihoods of people in downstream areas of the river in Iran and in Afghanistan and to the detriment of the ecosystem.

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9/11 Victims’ Claims to Afghanistan’s Foreign Exchange Reserve

Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserve has drawn considerable interest of late. According to recent reports, Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), the State’s central bank, holds around USD 10 billion in the form of US treasury bonds, gold offshore and other investments. Given that most of the funds are held in the United States Federal Reserve and denominated in foreign…

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The Law and Tech of Two Targeted Killings

The New York Times recently published two fascinating pieces on two separate instances of targeted killings. The first is on the tragic denouement of the 20 years of US presence in Afghanistan – a drone strike conducted on 29 August by the US military in Kabul, purportedly against terrorists planning a second deadly attack against…

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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…

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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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