On Monday May 10, 2021, the Taliban released a statement declaring a three-day ceasefire across Afghanistan, in the context of the Eid al-Fitr holiday. Afghanistan has been facing a sudden rise in violence, with the bombing of a Kabul girls’ school on May 8, 2021 resulting in the death of at least 63 people. According to the CFR, no group has claimed responsibility and the Taliban denied any involvement. In the aftermath of the Eid’s ceasefire, the Taliban have been reported to have seized Nerkh district, 40 kilometres from Kabul. According to Afghanistan’s MoD, several ceasefire violations have been reported and at least 15 provinces witnessed violence operations. Several bombings targeting civilians have also been reported recently in the province of Kabul, the Islamic State having claimed responsibility of the explosion at Kabul mosque on May 15, 2021.
The situation in Afghanistan is not promising for peace and stability and the population is paying the hard cost. In the context of the US troops withdrawal by September 2021, some observers have feared an increasing deterioration of the situation, an intensified civil war and potentially the collapse of the Afghan’s government. The peace talks have not improved, as Taliban and Afghan government mediators have met in Doha last Friday May 14, 2021. The parties have nevertheless accepted to pursue the talks and the negotiations further, as the so-called Istanbul meeting still needs to be set. The Taliban, who previously refused to attend the Istanbul meeting, have announced plans to attend the summit in Istanbul but have also stated their wish to have the final negotiations in Doha.
CD4Peace recommends the U.N. and the UNAMA mission to increase participation of civil society and civilians in the peace process and deplores how political opposition lead populations without security and safety. CD4Peace hopes that future (global) solutions to separate political struggle for power from violence against civilians will be found and strongly believe the key role that can play the acceptance of cultural diversity in that regard.