Can I pass as Pashtun

dish

REASONS FOR DECISION:

I. Procedure:

1. The complainant, a male citizen of Afghanistan, who belongs to the PASCHTUNEN ethnic group and defines himself as a Sunni Muslim, applied for international protection in Austria on December 18, 2015.

2. On December 19, 2019, the first written survey of the named took place in front of an organ of the public security service. When asked about his reasons for fleeing, he essentially stated that he had been taught in a Pakistani Koran school. One day, representatives of the Taliban would have appeared on site, which had recruited members for their organization. For the asylum seeker, the role of a suicide bomber was specifically intended - a perspective that the named would have tried to evade by fleeing. In the event of his return, the applicant now fears potential acts of revenge on the part of the Islamic fundamentalists.

3. Questioned in writing for the first time in writing before the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum on February 19, 2016, the appellant applied for the use of a PASCHTU interpreter, especially since the URDU would not be powerful enough to be able to follow the questioning.

4. When asked again on April 12th, 2018 in front of the authority concerned, this time with the assistance of an interpreter for PASCHTU, the complainant first confirmed the accuracy of his previous information. PASCHTU is his mother tongue, which is why communication now works without any problems. Apart from stomach pains and problems urinating, which he is currently receiving medication or specialist medical treatment, he would be completely healthy and therefore able to negotiate.

The named person does not maintain a single and childless relationship in Germany either. Basically able to work, he is currently marginally active in his community. Otherwise he spends his free time cycling and walking. "Otherwise I'm only at home (page 103 of the administrative act of first instance)." He did not have any documents that could confirm his identity or origin, nor would he have had any. The appellant is currently attending a German course three times a week. He earns his living from basic services.

Originally born in KUNAR, he and his family emigrated to Pakistan, specifically to MARDAN, when he was around one year old; The asylum seeker has no knowledge of the underlying motives and backgrounds of his parents for this decision. "I don't know why my parents went to Pakistan (page 96 of the administrative act of first instance)."

The applicant's father would have died four years ago. Until recently, his mother and his six brothers and four sisters all lived in XXXX in Pakistan; where they are currently residing eludes his knowledge. He was only aware of two brothers that they had gone to Iran. The complainant currently has no contact whatsoever with any of his core family members. Apparently, all relatives should have relocated because of his reason for fleeing.

After completing his primary school education, the appellant would have attended a Koran school in XXXX for three years, especially since he would have failed the regular school in English. The teaching of the Koran was exclusively part of the curriculum, whereby the attainment of the learning goal would have been driven by the responsible teachers with physical violence. At the end of the five-year course, the graduates could officially practice the profession of Iman. Otherwise he would have lived quite well in Pakistan.

His departure had been organized and financed by the complainant's mother.

In his actual home country Afghanistan, his family had repeatedly had to fight violent clashes with relatives due to differences in property until they moved to Pakistan. In Pakistan, the aforementioned would have had problems with the Taliban. They "wanted to prepare me as a suicide. They said I should make a suicide attack in Afghanistan (page 101 of the administrative act of first instance)." At the behest of his mother, the asylum seeker then preferred to leave both the Koran school and the country for Europe. After his departure, the Islamic fundamentalists turned up repeatedly at his family's home and asked about the applicant's whereabouts. After a while, all properties were sold and moved to PANJAB. Since the relatives of the appellant had kept their destination to themselves, "they therefore had no more problems (page 102 of the administrative act of first instance)."

The named himself would have been in XXXX for five days to visit his home province, but there were many clashes between the government and the Taliban on the ground, which is why he never considered going anywhere else Place in his country of origin. This also includes KABUL, especially since attacks are carried out there again and again.

In the event of a return, the asylum seeker is massively afraid of the Islamic fundamentalists. Since the withdrawal of the Russians, the security situation in Afghanistan has been much worse than before, which is why he generally doesn't want to go back.

5. As part of his first-instance legal process, the applicant presented the following evidence:

- Confirmation of school attendance dated February 9th, 2018;

- Confirmation of employment from the market municipality XXXX (marginal employment for several weeks) dated April 9, 2018;

- Multiple pay slips based on minor employment at the community level;

- ÖSD certificate A2 from XXXX .2018 "NOT PASSED";

- ÖSD certificate A1 from XXXX .2018 "VERY GOOD PASS";

- VHS - course attendance confirmation for integration and literacy from XXXX.2017;

- VHS - course attendance confirmation for basic education (undated);

- VHS - course attendance confirmation for integration and literacy (undated);

- Confirmation of participation in a German course at A1 level from XXXX .2018;

- Confirmation of visit to a language café dated XXXX .2017;

- Confirmation of participation in a values ​​and orientation course from XXXX .2017;

- Time confirmation for participation in an information event of the ÖIF from XXXX 2017;

- Confirmation of participation in the German course "Language and Encounter" (undated);

- German course confirmation for asylum seekers and beginners (undated);

- ZMR excerpt from March 16, 2016;

- Referral from the University Clinic SALZBURG from XXXX 2016;

- Referral to an internist from XXXX .2016;

- Referral to the emergency room from XXXX .2016;

- Ambulance confirmation from XXXX .2016;

- Confirmation of stay at KLINIKUM KLAGENFURT from XXXX .2016;

- Ambulance confirmation from XXXX .2017;

- Confirmation of stay at KLINIKUM KLAGENFURT from XXXX .2017;

- Radiology request from KLAGENFURT KLINIKUM (undated);

- Histopathological findings at KLAGENFURT KLINIKUM (undated);

- Final results of KLINIKUM KLAGENFURT from XXXX 2017;

- Prescription from KLINIKUM KLAGENFURT from XXXX .2017;

- Interim microbiology findings from KLAGENFURT KLINIKUM from XXXX .2017;

- Doctor's letter from KLINIKUM KLAGENFURT from XXXX .2017;

- Another doctor's letter from KLAGENFURT KLINIKUM from XXXX .2017;

- Urodynamic report of KLAGENFURT KLINIKUM from XXXX .2017;

- Ambulance protocol of KLAGENFURT KLINIKUM from XXXX .2017;

- Urologist findings from April 18, 2018;

- Outpatient protocol of KLAGENFURT KLINIKUM from XXXX .2017:

- Reply from the KÄRNTENR GEBIETSKRANKENKASSE dated May 2nd, 2016;

- Outpatient protocol of KLAGENFURT KLINIKUM dated XXXX 2016;

- Handwritten tally list and calendar (undated);

- Final results from KLAGENFURT Microbiology Clinic from XXXX .2016;

- Information sheet on OP preparation for XXXX .2016;

- Information sheet "Preparation for Coloscopy";

- proof of health insurance for people with basic care;

- Information sheet of KLAGENFURT CLINIC "Computer Tomography";

- Information sheet from KLAGENFURT CLINIC "Endoscopy".

6. By decision of May 3, 2018, item XXXX, the first instance rejected the complainant's application regarding the granting of the status of person entitled to asylum in accordance with Section 3 Paragraph 1 in conjunction with Section 2 Paragraph 1 Item 13 AsylG 2005 (ruling point I.) and in accordance with Section 8 (1) in conjunction with Section 2 (1) no. 13 AsylG 2005 with regard to the granting of the status of beneficiary of subsidiary protection in relation to the country of origin Afghanistan (point II.). According to § 57 AsylG, a residence title was not issued for reasons worthy of consideration (point III.) And according to § 10 para. 1 no.3 AsylG 2005 in conjunction with § 9 BFA-VG a return decision was issued against the complainant in accordance with § 52 para IV.), Whereby according to § 52 Abs. 9 FPG it was determined that the deportation of the complainant according to § 46 FPG to Afghanistan is permissible (ruling point V.) According to § 55 Abs. 1 to 3 FPG the period for the voluntary departure is 14 Days after the return decision becomes final (point VI.).

The authority in question essentially stated that the aforementioned had not made any fear of persecution credible. The alleged danger of being recruited by the Taliban relates exclusively to Pakistan, but not to Afghanistan, the country of origin. In addition, the asylum seeker had spoken to representatives of the radical Islamists about potential training as a suicide bomber; however, no forced recruitment had ever taken place. The applicant would have only submitted that the fundamentalists had asked his mother or family several times after his sudden disappearance, but never used force. Intensive efforts by the religious fanatics to get hold of the appellant could not be derived from the statements made in the proceedings. In addition, there is the option for the named person to effectively evade their access by simply relocating to Afghanistan. In the present case, no individual risk situation with regard to the asylum seeker could have been determined and there is also a suitable domestic flight alternative.

Subsidiary protection would not be granted to him because, in the event of his return to his country of origin, there is a real risk of a violation of Art in the context of an international or domestic conflict due to the current general situation in Afghanistan.

The fact that the complainant has no noteworthy private or family ties in the federal territory emerges from his own information in this regard. The knowledge of German would be extremely poor and social contacts apart from the operators of his accommodation would not be apparent. A noteworthy integrative consolidation could not be derived from this background. In contrast, the asylum seeker would have spent a large part of his life in his original culture, which is why reintegration into his home country appears objectively possible and reasonable.

7. The appellant filed a timely complaint against this decision via his legally friendly representative and essentially argued that the Federal Office had only carried out inadequate investigations, in particular in the area of ​​state identification. According to this, the asylum seeker would be exposed to a serious threat to life and limb if he were to be returned.

In addition, the organizational structure of the Taliban in Afghanistan has generally improved massively, which is why the risk of possible forced recruitment or risk to life and limb must be classified as particularly high for the applicant.

8. On February 24th, 2020 a public hearing took place before the Federal Administrative Court. During the hearing, the reasons for fleeing, the relevant situation in Afghanistan, the private and family life of the appellant and his integration steps were discussed.

Basically healthy and able to negotiate, he is currently taking medication for stomach pain.

To qualify religiously as a Sunni, the complainant could be ethnically assigned to the Pashtun group.

After moving to Pakistan as a toddler, the aforementioned would only have been to his home country once at the age of 14, whereby the duration of stay in KUNAR would have extended to a total of five days. There are no relatives in Afghanistan or Austria. In contrast, not only are two of his brothers currently living in Iran, but also his mother and all of his siblings, with the exception of one sister living in Pakistan, have moved to the same neighboring country.

The applicant is currently trying to catch up on his compulsory schooling and is learning, among other things, English, Italian and computer science. After successfully completing his compulsory schooling, he wants to learn a specific profession. In his free time from school, he often goes for a walk, plays sports or visits one of his friends of Afghan origin. In contrast, in the Koran school, the asylum seeker "learned the whole Koran by heart (page 7 of the minutes of February 24, 2020)."

In the course of karate training, he would have met the Taliban repeatedly, who had led the hand-to-hand combat training. In subsequent discussions, the question was discussed whether the complainant was planning to go to WASIRESTAN. If so, the appellant must in any case go through special combat training, which would take place at a special training place for the Islamic fundamentalists. The asylum seeker then accepted this offer. Before that, however, he should have spoken to his mother; However, this did not react positively in the expected way, but instead explicitly forbade the named person to implement his project. The decision of his mother was absolutely binding in the correct application of Islamic teachings, which is why a deviation from their order would not have come into consideration for the applicant.

If approved, he would have put into practice his wish at the time to accept the Taliban's offer. This completely voluntarily and without any coercion from the radical Islamists. Not least in view of his permanent difficulties in achieving all of the learning goals. "I thought if I learned the Koran by heart and then lived by it all my life, it would be more difficult than if I took a shorter, faster, easier route to paradise (page 12 of the transcript of February 24, 2020)." In the absence of parental permission, however, he was completely denied access to paradise, "that is simply not possible (page 12 of the minutes of February 24, 2020)."

He is currently not in a relationship. He often talks to his friends about the asylum procedure, school or religious issues. Likewise, the Austrian parties FPÖ and Greens would have been the subject of various discussions.

In the event of his return to Afghanistan, the applicant feared either his late father's cousins, based on the decades-long family feud, or he would be murdered by the Taliban. A life in one of the large Afghan cities such as KABUL, JALALABAD or HERAT would also be out of the question for him, especially since on the one hand his enemies had relatives and friends everywhere, which is why they could easily find him and on the other hand he would not know most of these cities. in any case, he would have to reckon with his premature death, especially since he would not have any family ties.

In the course of his complaint hearing, the appellant submitted the following documents and papers:

- Confirmation of participation for a preparatory course to catch up on the compulsory school leaving certificate, dated XXXX .2020;

- Confirmation of attendance and registration for attending the evening grammar school, dated XXXX .2020;

- School attendance confirmation, dated XXXX .2018;

- School attendance confirmation, dated XXXX. 2019;

- School attendance confirmation, dated XXXX. 2019;

- Confirmation of participation in a first aid course of the Red Cross, dated XXXX .2019;

- Certificate of participation in the project "Love health in Carinthia", dated XXXX .2019;

- Certificate of attendance for a German course at level A1 +, dated XXXX 2018.

II. The Federal Administrative Court has considered:

1. Findings:

1.1. About the complainant:

The complainant is an Afghan national and a member of the PASCHTUNEN ethnic group, bears the name XXXX and was born on XXXX .1997. His mother tongue is PASCHTU. Denominationally affiliated to Sunni Islam, the appellant is single and childless. After almost ten years of schooling, he switched to a Koran school at his father's request. Until his departure, he lived in the same household with his core family (mother plus siblings). The named person has no family ties in his home country.Apart from gastric ulcers, in principle healthy and fit for work, no indications of life-threatening or serious illnesses of the asylum seeker emerged in the proceedings and no such was alleged.

1.2. On the life of the complainant in Austria

The complainant entered Austria bypassing the border controls and has been in Austria continuously since December 18, 2015. The aforementioned currently has a basic knowledge of the German language, which enables him to communicate rudimentarily about things of everyday life. Officially, the applicant has reached language level A1, although he is currently not in legal employment.

In the Austrian federal territory, the asylum seeker has neither nuclear family members nor distant relatives.

The aforementioned spends most of his time in Austria with sporting activities and social contacts, mostly with fellow countrymen.

At the time of the decision, the appellant proves to be innocent.

1.3. On the complainant's reasons for fleeing

The persecution allegation brought up by the asylum seeker that he was threatened by the Taliban because his mother was not allowed to make himself available in person as a suicide bomber cannot be established for reasons detailed below.

1.4. A possible return of the applicant to the country of origin

The appellant left his original homeland with his family as a toddler and subsequently grew up in Pakistan. In Afghanistan, the aforementioned has neither family ties nor an equivalent support network, sufficient local knowledge or vocational training that would guarantee him economic self-sufficiency with sufficient certainty. According to the current VfGH ruling, exceptional circumstances are required to enable an asylum seeker who has spent a large part of his life outside his home country of Afghanistan to return to his home country.

Such extraordinary factors are not present in this case, which is why, based on the supreme court case cited above, a return to Afghanistan has to be qualified as impossible.

1.5. On the relevant situation in Afghanistan

(Excerpt from the country information sheet of the state documentation of March 26, 2019, last updated on June 4, 2019 - note: the sources can be found in the country reports themselves):

Recent events:

KI from 4.6.2019, political events, civilian victims, attacks in Kabul, IOM (relevant to Section 3 / Security Situation; Section 2 / Political Situation; Section 23 / Return).

Political events: peace talks, Loya Jirga, results of parliamentary elections

At the end of May 2019, the second round of peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan politicians (not the government, note) took place in Moscow. At the meeting, a member of the Taliban, Amir Khan Muttaqi, expressed the group's wish for the unity of the Afghan people and for an "inclusive" future government. Muttaqi also claimed that the Taliban wanted to respect women's rights. A former member of the Afghan parliament, Fawzia Koofi, however, voiced her concerns, claiming that the Taliban have no interest in being part of the current government and that the group continues to represent an Islamic emirate. (Tolonews May 31, 2019a). The "great council meeting" (Loya Jirga) met in Kabul from April 29, 2019 to May 3, 2019. Its members passed a resolution with the aim of reaching a peace treaty with the Taliban and promoting intra-Afghan dialogue. President Ghani also offered the Taliban a ceasefire during Ramadan from May 6, 2019 to June 4, 2019, but emphasized that this would not be unilateral. Furthermore, 175 captured Taliban fighters should be released (BAMF 6.5.2019). According to another source, the criticisms made by numerous jirga participants about the US military operations at night were not included in the final report in order not to endanger relations between the two states. The Taliban did not participate in this government-convened peace event, which is likely to include, among other things. related to the failed dialogue meeting scheduled for mid-April 2019 in Qatar. There the government would have been involved in the peace talks with the Taliban for the first time. However, after the former made their participation conditional on sending 250 representatives to Doha and the Taliban reacted with ridicule, ultimately none of the government officials took part in the event. Talks took place between the Taliban and Afghans in exile, in which many of them publicly criticized the government's behavior (Heise May 16, 2019).

The sixth round of talks between the Taliban and the USA also took place in Qatar at the beginning of May 2019. Taliban spokesman in Doha, Mohammad Sohail Shaheen, stressed that there was still hope for the intra-Afghan talks. According to the source, the participants were able to agree on some points, but other "important things" still have to be dealt with (Heise May 16, 2019).

On May 14, 2019, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) published the election results of Kabul Province for the Afghan lower house (Wolesi Jirga) (AAN May 17, 2019; see IEC May 14, 2019, IEC May 15, 2019). Thus, after almost seven months (the parliamentary elections took place on October 20, 2018 and October 21, 2018) the counting of votes for 33 of the 34 provinces was completed. In the province of Ghazni, the election is to take place together with the presidential and provincial council elections on September 28, 2019. In his address on 15 May 2019 on the swearing-in of the members of parliament of the provinces of Kabul and Paktya, Ghani described the seven-month election as a "catastrophe" and the two election commissions, the IEC and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC), as "inefficient" (AAN 17 May 2019 ).

Civilian casualties, UNAMA report.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) registered 1,773 civilian casualties (581 dead and 1,192 injured) in the first quarter of 2019 (1/1/2019 - 31/3/2019), of which 582 were children (150 dead and 432 injured). This corresponds to a decrease in the total number of victims of 23% compared to the same period of the previous year, which is the lowest value for the first quarter of the year since 2013 (UNAMA April 24, 2019).

This decrease was caused by a decrease in the number of civilian victims of suicide attacks using IEDs (improvised explosive devices). According to the source, the particularly harsh winter conditions in the first three months of 2019 may have contributed to this trend. It is unclear whether the decline in civilian casualties was influenced by measures taken by the conflicting parties to improve the protection of the civilian population or by the ongoing talks between the conflicting parties (UNAMA April 24, 2019).

The number of civilian casualties due to non-suicide attacks with IEDs by anti-government groups and aerial and search operations by pro-government groups has increased. The number of civilian deaths attributed to pro-government groups exceeded civilian deaths caused by anti-government elements in the first quarter of 2019 (UNAMA April 24, 2019). Combat operations on the ground were the main cause of civilian casualties, accounting for about a third of the total. The use of IEDs was the second leading cause of civilian casualties: Contrary to the 2017 and 2018 trends, the majority of civilian casualties from IEDs were not caused by suicide attacks, but by attacks in which the attacker did not want to bring about his own death. Air strikes were the main cause of civilian deaths and the third leading cause of civilian casualties (injuries are also counted, note), followed by targeted murders and explosive ordnance residues (UXO). The hardest hit were civilians in the provinces of Kabul, Helmand, Nangarhar, Faryab and Kunduz (in that order) (UNAMA April 24, 2019).

Attacks in Kabul City

At the end of May 2019, a number of attacks and targeted killings took place at short intervals in Kabul City: On May 26, 2019, a senior employee of an NGO in Kart-e Naw (PD5, Police District 5) was shot dead by unknown armed men (Tolonews May 27, 2019) .2019a). On May 27, 2019, ten people were injured following the explosion of a magnetic bomb aimed at a bus operated by employees of the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs. The explosion took place in Parwana-e Do (PD2). No group was known about the incident (Tolonews May 27, 2019b). Furthermore, in the course of the last two weeks of May, four checkpoints of the Afghan security forces were attacked by unknown armed men (Tolonews May 31, 2019b).

On May 30, 2019, six people were killed and 16 people, including four civilians, injured as a result of a suicide attack near the Marshal Fahim military academy in the Char Rahi Qambar district (PD5). The explosion occurred while the cadets were leaving the university (1 TV NEWS May 30, 2019). The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack (AJ May 30, 2019).

On May 31, 2019, six people, including four civilians, were killed and five people, including four members of the US security forces, injured after a car laden with explosives detonated in Qala-e Wazir (PD9). According to sources, the original target of the attack was a convoy of foreign security forces (Tolonews 31.5.2019c).

On June 2nd, 2019, after several bombs detonated, one person was killed and 17 others were injured. The attacks took place in the west of the city, and one of them was caused by a sticky bomb attached to a bus. According to a source, the bus was transporting students from Kabul Polytechnic University (TW 2.6.2019). ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks and claimed the deaths of "more than 30 Shiites and members of the Afghan security forces". The operation was carried out in two phases: first, a bus carrying 25 Shiites was attacked, and then two more bombs detonated as "security elements" gathered around the bus. ISIS representatives have deliberately and repeatedly targeted Shiite civilians in Afghanistan, calling them "polytheists". (LWY June 2nd, 2019).

On June 3, 2019, five people were killed and ten others were injured after an explosion on Darul Aman Road near the American University of Afghanistan. The attack was directed against a bus with employees of the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (Tolonews June 3, 2019).

According to US data, the number of IS supporters in Afghanistan has risen to around 5,000, five times as many as a year ago. According to one source, the group is benefiting from "the increase in the number of fighters in Pakistan and Uzbekistan and fighters who have fled Syria". Furthermore, disappointed members of the Taliban and young people with no prospects for the future join the IS, which has cells in Kabul, Nangarhar and Kunar (BAMF 3.6.2019). According to the US, it is "very likely" that smaller IS cells also operate in parts of Afghanistan that are under the control of the government or the Taliban (VOA May 21, 2019). A Russian source reports that around 5,000 IS fighters are active along the northern border and threaten neighboring countries. According to the source, these are citizens of the former Soviet republics who fought with IS in Syria (Newsweek May 21, 2019).

KI of March 26, 2019, attacks in Kabul, floods and drought, peace talks, presidential election (relevant to Section 2 / Political Situation; Section 3 / Security Situation; Section 21 / Basic Services and the Economy).

Attacks in Kabul City

In a suicide attack during the Persian New Year festival Nowruz in Kabul City on March 21, 2019, six people were killed and a further 23 were injured (AJ March 21, 2019, Reuters March 21, 2019). The detonation occurred near the University of Kabul and the Karte Sakhi Shrine, in an area inhabited by the majority of Shiites. According to sources, three bombs were placed for this purpose: one in the washroom of a mosque, another behind a hospital and the third in an electricity meter (TDP March 21, 2019; AJ March 21, 2019). The ISKP (Islamic State - Khorasan Province) claimed responsibility for the attack (Reuters March 21, 2019).

During a mortar attack on a memorial service for Hazara leader Abdul Ali Mazari, who was killed by the Taliban in 1995, in the predominantly Hazara-inhabited district of Dasht-e Barchi in Kabul on March 7, 2019, 11 people were killed and 95 others were injured. The ISKP claimed responsibility for the attack (AJ 8.3.2019).

Floods and drought

At least 63 people were killed after heavy rains in 14 Afghan provinces. In the provinces of Farah, Kandahar, Helmand, Herat, Kapisa, Parwan, Zabul and Kabul, around 5,000 houses were destroyed and 7,500 were damaged (UN OCHA March 19, 2019). According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), the districts of Ghorvan, Zendejan, Pashtoon Zarghoon, Shindand, Guzarah and Baland Shahi were affected as of March 19, 2019 (UN OCHA March 19, 2019). The floods followed a drought that began in April 2018, from which the provinces of Badghis and Herat were most affected and whose consequences (e.g. rural exodus to the nearby urban centers, note) they continue to be. According to a source, around 266,000 IDPs were displaced in the two provinces on September 13, 2018: 84,000 of these people moved to Herat City and 94,945 to Qala-e-Naw, where they settled in the outskirts or in emergency shelters within the cities are dependent on humanitarian aid (IFRCRCS 17.3.2019).

Peace talks

Shortly after the round of peace talks between the Taliban and representatives of the USA in Qatar at the end of January 2019, a meeting between the Taliban and well-known Afghan opposition politicians, including former President Hamid Karzai and several "warlords", took place in Moscow at the beginning of February (Qantara February 12, 201) . According to sources, the meeting was organized by the Afghan diaspora in Russia. Taliban negotiator Sher Muhammad Abbas Stanaksai repeated well-known positions during the meeting, such as defending "jihad" against the "US occupiers" and continuing talks with the US at the same time. He also proclaimed that the Taliban wanted the creation of an "Islamic system of government with all Afghans", although they did not seek "exclusive rule". He also called the existing Afghan constitution the "main obstacle to peace" because it was "imposed by the West"; The Taliban also called for the sanctions against their leaders to be lifted and for their captured fighters to be released. They also pleaded not to interfere in the affairs of other countries, to combat drug trafficking, to avoid civilian war victims and to protect women’s rights.

In this regard, however, only to those "who are intended in Islam" (e.g. learning, studying and choosing a husband yourself). In this regard, they criticized the fact that "in the name of women's rights, immorality is spread and Afghan values ​​are undermined" (Taz 6.2.2019). At the end of February 2019, another round of peace talks between the Taliban and US representatives took place in Qatar, at which the Taliban again demanded the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and emphasized that they wanted to prevent the planning of international attacks on Afghan territory.

However, the latter point led to disagreements: while the US stressed that it wanted to avoid the use of Afghan territory by "terrorist groups" and demanded a guarantee from the Taliban in this regard, the Taliban claimed that there was no universal definition of terrorism and refused to do so such a specification. Both the Taliban and the US representatives kept their media coverage relatively low and only emphasized that the peace negotiations were continuing. While there were still hopes at the beginning of the peace talks, as the negotiations progressed it became increasingly clear that a solution to the conflict would prove to be "frustratingly slow" (NYT March 7, 2019).

The Afghan government was not involved in either the two peace talks in Doha or the meeting in Moscow (Qantara February 12, 2019; see NYT March 7, 2019), which caused unease among some government representatives and impaired diplomatic relations between the two governments (Reuters March 18, 2019) .2019; see WP March 18, 2019). For example, US Secretary of State David Hale announced on March 18, 2019 that contacts between US representatives and the Afghan national security advisor Hamdullah Mohib had been terminated after this US chief negotiator had publicly criticized Zalmay Khalilzad and the exclusion of the Afghan government from the peace talks (Reuters March 18, 2019). Postponement of the presidential election

According to sources, the presidential election, which had already been postponed from April to June 2019, will now take place on September 28, 2019.The reason for this are "numerous problems and challenges" which have to be resolved before the election date in order to ensure a safe and transparent election and complete voter registration - according to the independent electoral commission (IEC) (VoA March 20, 2019; see BAMF March 25, 2019).

KI from January 22, 2019, attack on the training center of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) in Wardak province and others (relevant to Section 2 / Political Situation and Section 3 / Security Situation)

In an attack on a base of the Afghan Security Service (NDS, National Directorate of Security) in the central province of Wardak (also Maidan Wardak) between twelve and 126 NDS employees were killed on January 21, 2019 (TG January 21, 2019; see IM January 22, 2019). Sources said the attack began Monday morning when a U.S. Forces Humvee vehicle was driven into the military base and blown up. Thereupon attackers opened fire and were subsequently killed by the security forces (TG 21.1.2019; see NYT 21.1.2019). The Taliban confessed to the attack, which, according to sources, was one of the deadliest attacks on Afghan intelligence in the past 17 years (NYT January 21, 2019; IM January 22, 2019). On the same day, the Taliban announced the resumption of peace talks with the US representatives in Doha, Qatar (NYT January 21, 2019; see IM January 22, 2019, Tolonews January 21, 2019).

The day before, January 20, 2019, the convoy of the Provincial Governor of Logar Province, Shahpoor Ahmadzai, was attacked by a Taliban car bomb on the stretch of motorway between Kabul and Logar. The explosion missed the high-ranking officials, but killed eight Afghan security forces and injured ten others (AJ January 20, 2019; see IM January 22, 2019).

Furthermore, a car bomb detonated on January 14, 2019 in front of the secured Green Village in Kabul, where numerous international organizations and NGOs are based (Reuters January 15, 2019). According to sources, five people died in the attack and over 100, including civilians, were injured (TG January 21, 2019; see Reuters January 15, 2019, RFE / RL January 14, 2019). The Taliban also committed to this attack (TN January 15, 2019; see Reuters January 15, 2019).

KI from 8.1.2019, attack in Kabul and postponement of the presidential election (relevant for Section 2 / Political Situation and Section 3 / Security Situation)

Attack on government buildings in Kabul

On December 24, 2018, a car bomb detonated in front of the Ministry of Public Works in East Kabul (PD16); As a result, attackers stormed the nearby building of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and the Disabled and shot at other government institutions in the area (ORF December 24, 2018; see ZO December 24, 2018, Tolonews December 25, 2018). After several hours of fighting between the Afghan security forces and the attackers, they were defeated. According to sources, around 43 people were killed (AJ December 25, 2018; see Tolonews December 25, 2018, NYT December 24, 2018). So far, no group has committed itself to the attack (Tolonews December 25, 2018; see AJ December 25, 2018).

Problematic vote counting after parliamentary elections and postponement of the presidential election

On December 6, 2018, the Afghan Election Complaints Commission (IECC) declared all votes cast in the province of Kabul to be invalid (RFE / RL December 6, 2018). Thus the votes of around one million Kabulis were canceled (Telepolis December 15, 2018; see TAZ December 6, 2018). The reasons for the decision of the IECC are several, including corruption, election fraud and the inadequate implementation of the election by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) (Telepolis December 15, 2018; see RFE / RL December 6, 2018). The decision was described by the IEC as "politically motivated" and "illegal" (Tolonews 12/12/2018). On December 8, 2018, the IECC nevertheless declared that the Commission would revise its decision if the IEC showed willingness to cooperate (Tolonews December 8, 2018). According to a source, on December 12th, 2018, the two election commissions agreed on a new method for counting the votes cast, which should preserve the transparency and credibility of these; Approx. 10% of the votes in Kabul are to be counted again using this new method (Tolonews 12/12/2018). The review of the votes in the province of Kabul is still ongoing (Tolonews 7.1.2019). According to the law, if the votes are canceled, new elections must take place within a week, but this seems unrealistic (Telepolis 15.12.2018). So far, the IEC has published the preliminary results of the election for 32 provinces (IEC undated).

On December 30, 2018, the postponement of the presidential election from April 20, 2019 to July 20, 2019 was announced. The reasons given include the numerous problems during and after the parliamentary elections in October (WP 12/30/2018; see AJ 12/30/2018, Reuters 12/30/2018).

KI from October 19, 2018, update: Security situation in Afghanistan - Q3.2018 (relevant for Section 3 / Security situation)

General security situation and security-related incidents

The security situation in Afghanistan remains volatile (UNGASC 10.9.2018). On August 19, 2018, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a three-month ceasefire with the Taliban from August 20, 2018 to November 19, 2018, which, however, was not accepted by them (UNGASC September 10, 2018; see Tolonews August 19, 2018, TG August 19, 2018 , AJ August 19, 2018). The United Nations (UN) registered 5,800 security-related incidents in the reporting period (May 15, 2018 - August 15, 2018), which is a decrease of 10% compared to the same period of the previous year. Armed clashes decreased by 14%, but still accounted for the majority of security incidents (61%). Suicide attacks increased by 38%, air strikes by the Afghan Air Force (AAF) and international forces increased by 46%. The regions hardest hit were the South, East and South-East, where a total of 67% of the incidents occurred. There are still concerns about deteriorating security conditions in the north of the country:

A large number of ground fighting was recorded in the provinces of Balkh, Faryab and Jawzjan, and incidents along the Ring Road impaired freedom of movement between the capitals of the three provinces (UNGASC 9/10/2018).

For the first time since 2016, provincial capitals were attacked by the Taliban: Farah City in May, Ghazni City in August and Sar-e Pul in September (UNGASC 9/10/2018; see Chapter 1., KI 9/11/2018, SIGAR 7/30/2018 .2018, UNGASC 6.6.2018). Fierce fighting broke out during the attacks, but the Afghan security forces were able to gain the upper hand with the support of international forces (UNGASC 9/10/2018; see UNGASC 6/6/2018, GT 9/12/2018). The Taliban also carried out attacks in the provinces of Baghlan, Logar and Zabul (UNGASC 9/10/2018). In the course of various combat operations, both Taliban and ISKP fighters (ISKP, Islamic State Khorasan Province, note) were killed (SIGAR July 30, 2018).

Both the insurgents and the Afghan security forces recorded high losses, with the number of victims on the ANDSF side increasing significantly in August and September 2018 (Tolonews 9/23/2018; see NYT 9/21/2018, ANSA 8/13/2018, CBS 8/14. 2018).

Nevertheless, there was no significant change in the control of the territory by the government or the Taliban (UNGASC 9/10/2018; see UNGASC 6/6/2018). According to the Resolute Support (RS) Mission, the government controlled 56.3% of the districts as of May 15, 2018, which is a slight decrease compared to the same period in 2017 (57%). 30% of the districts were contested and 14% were under the influence or control of insurgents. Approx. 67% of the population lived in areas under government control or influence, 12% in areas under the influence or control of the insurgents and 23% lived in contested areas (SIGAR July 30, 2018).

The Islamic State - Khorasan Province (ISKP) continues to be active in the Nangarhar, Kunar and Jawzjan provinces (USGASC 6/6/2018; see UNGASC 9/10/2018). The terrorist group was also responsible for high-profile attacks on the Shiite religious community in Kabul and Paktia in August and September (UNGASC 9/10/2018; see KI from 9/11/2018, KI from 8/22/2018). At the beginning of August, the Taliban defeated the "self-appointed" ISKP (whose connection with the ISKP in Nangarhar has not been proven) active in the districts of Qush Tepa and Darzab (Jawzjan province) and became the dominant power in these two districts (AAN 4.8.2018; see UNGASC 10.9.2018).

According to the Global Incident Map, 1,969 security incidents were registered in the reporting period (May 1, 2018 - September 30, 2018).

Civilian victims

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) registered 5,122 civilian casualties (1,692 dead and 3,430 injured) in the reporting period (1.1.2018 - 30.6.2018), a decrease of 3% compared to the previous year. 45% of the civilian casualties were caused by IED [improvised explosive devices or incendiary devices / booby traps, but also suicide attacks, note] by anti-government groups. Ground clashes, targeted killings, air strikes and explosive remnants of ordnance were other causes of civilian casualties. Civilians in Kabul, Nangarhar, Faryab, Helmand and Kandahar provinces were hardest hit. The number of civilian casualties caused by collisions on the ground fell by 18% and the number of targeted killings fell significantly. However, the number of victims in complex and suicide attacks by anti-government groups has increased (by 22% compared to 2017), with 52% of the victims being attributable to the ISKP, 40% to the Taliban and the remainder to other anti-government groups (UNAMA July 15, 2018).

Anti-government groups were responsible for 3,413 (1,127 dead and 2,286 injured) civilian victims (67%) in the UNAMA reporting period (1.1.2018 - 30.6.2018): 42% of the victims were the Taliban, 18% ISIS and 7% were undefined anti-government Attributed to groupings. Compared to the first half of 2017, the number of civilian victims of targeted attacks on civilians increased by 28%, mainly due to attacks on the public administration and incidents related to the elections (UNAMA 07/15/2018).

Approximately 1,047 (20%) of the civilian casualties recorded were attributed to pro-government groups: 17% were caused by the Afghan security forces, 2% by the international armed forces, and 1% by pro-government armed groups. Compared with 2017, the number of civilian victims of clashes on the ground assigned to groups loyal to the government fell by 21%. At the same time, however, the number of victims of air strikes rose by 52% (Kunduz, Kapisa and Maidan Wardak) (UNAMA July 15, 2018; see UNAMA September 25, 2018a, UNAMA September 25, 2018b).

UNAMA also recorded civilian victims as a result of manhunt operations, mainly by the special forces of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and pro-government armed groups such as the Khost Protection Force (KPF) (UNAMA July 15, 2018).

However, the Afghan government continued efforts to reduce the number of civilian casualties, mainly during ground operations. The government pursues a "national policy for civil harm reduction and prevention" and the Protocol V of the "Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in Relation to Explosive Remnants of War", which came into force on 9.2.2018. Ground operations by anti-government groups (mainly Taliban) recorded a 23% decrease in civilian casualties compared to 2017. For example, the number of civilian victims of the printing plate IEDs mainly used by the Taliban fell by 43% (UNAMA July 15, 2018).

elections

Voter registration for the parliamentary and district elections took place between April 14, 2018 and July 27, 2018. According to official figures, 9.5 million voters registered during the period mentioned, 34% of them women (UNGASC 10.9.2018). The registration of candidates for the parliamentary and district elections ended on June 12, 2018 and June 14, 2018 and the list of candidates for the parliamentary elections was published on July 2, 2018 (UNGASC September 10, 2018). On September 25, 2018, the spokesman for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced that the nationwide district elections and the parliamentary elections in Ghazni Province on October 20, 2018 would not take place (in the rest of the country they will). This was justified with the low number of registered candidates for the district elections (only in 40 of 387 districts candidates were nominated) as well as with the "serious security situation and other problems". Both elections (district elections nationwide and parliamentary elections in Ghazni) were de facto canceled for 2018. Although it has not yet been determined when these should be rescheduled, the new date is likely to be April 20, 2019, when the presidential and provincial elections, among other things, will take place (AAN September 26, 2018). The registration of candidates for the presidential election is planned for the period 11.11.2018 - 25.11.2018; the preliminary list of candidates should be available on December 10, 2018, while the final list should be published on January 16, 2019 (AAN October 9, 2018). Without the province of Ghazni, the number of registered voters fell to around 8.8 million as of October 2018 (AAN October 9, 2018; see IEC, undated). The announcement of the first election results for the parliamentary elections (excluding Ghazni province) is planned for November 10, 2018, while the final result is expected to be published on December 20, 2018 (AAN October 9, 2018).

In April and October 2018, the Taliban issued two statements that they would boycott the election (AAN October 9, 2018). Attacks against issuing tazkiras and voting registration authorities have been reported. Both personnel involved in the election process and candidates and their supporters were attacked by anti-government groups. Between January 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018, 341 civilian casualties (117 dead and 224 injured) were recorded in relation to the elections, more than 250 of these casualties being attributable to the attacks in Kabul and Khost in late April and early May. During the electoral registration process, schools in which centers for electoral registration had been set up were also increasingly attacked (39 attacks between April and June 2018), which had a negative impact on the educational opportunities of children (UNAMA July 15, 2018). Since voter registration began in mid-April 2018, nine candidates have been murdered (AAN October 9, 2018).

Of the total of 7,366 polling stations, 5,100 will ultimately be open on the day of the election for security reasons (AAN 10/9/2018; see UNAMA 9/17/2018, Tolonews 9/29/2018). These are to be guarded by 54,776 members of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) during the five days before the election; 9,540 more are available as reserves (Tolonews 9/29/2018; see AAN 10/9/2018).

KI from 9/11/2018, attacks by the Islamic State (IS / ISKP) in Kabul, attacks in Nangarhar and Taliban activities in the provinces of Sar-i Pul and Jawzjan (relevant to Section 3 / Security Situation)

Attacks in Nangarhar 9/11/2018

On September 11, 2018, at least eight people were killed and another 35 were injured after a suicide attack during a demonstration in the Mohamad Dara district of Nangarhar province (Tolonews September 11, 2018; cf. TWP September 11, 2018, RFE / RL September 11, 2018). Shortly before, on the morning of 9/11/2018, a two-bomb attack was carried out in front of the girls 'school "Malika Omaira" in Jalalabad, in which a student at a nearby boys' school was killed and another four students were injured (RFE / RL 9/11/2018 ; AFP 9/11/2018). Before that there was another explosion in front of the girls' school "Biba Hawa" in the nearby district of Behsud, which did not claim any victims because the students had not yet appeared for class (AFP 9/11/2018).

Neither the Taliban nor the IS / ISKP admitted to the attacks, although both groups are active in the province of Nangarhar (AFP 9/11/2018; see RFE / RL 9/11/2018, TWP 9/11/2018).

Fighting in the provinces of Sar-e Pul and Jawzjan 11.9.2018

On Monday, September 10, 2018, the Taliban captured the capital of the Kham Aab district in Jawzjan province after serious clashes between the Taliban and the Afghan security forces (Tolonews September 10, 2018a; Tolonews September 10, 2018b). Both the Afghan armed forces and the Taliban suffered losses (Khaama Press 9/10/2018a).

On Sunday, 9th September 2018, the Taliban launched an offensive to conquer the capital of the province of Sar-i Pul, where fighting is still taking place, among other things, with the use of the air force (Tolonews 10.9.2018b; see FAZ 10.9.2018). According to sources, the Taliban have captured the Balghali area in the center of the provincial capital and brought it under their control (FAZ 10.9.2018). Sar-i-Pul City is one of the ten provincial capitals that sources say are at greatest risk of being captured by the Taliban. These include Farah City, Faizabad in Badakhshan, Ghazni City, Tarinkot in Uruzgan, Kunduz City, Maimana in Faryab and Pul-i-Khumri in Baghlan (LWY 9/10/2018; see LWY 8/30/2018). According to other sources, the cities of Lashkar Gar in Helmand and Gardez in Paktia are also threatened with a takeover by the Taliban (LWY 10.9.2018).

IS attack during Massoud pageant in Kabul 9.9.2018

At least seven people were killed and around 24 others were injured in a suicide attack in the Taimani district of Kabul on September 9, 2018. The attack, to which the Islamic State (IS / ISKP) claimed responsibility, took place during a pageant in honor of the deceased mujahideen fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud (AJ 10.9.2018; cf.Khaama Press 9/10/2018b).

IS attack on sports club in Kabul 5.9.2018

On Wednesday, September 5, 2018, at least 20 people were killed and around 70 others were injured in a double attack on a wrestling club in the Dasht-e Barchi district of Kabul (AJ September 6, 2018; see CNN September 6, 2018, TG 5.9 .2018). First an assassin blew himself up inside the sports club, shortly afterwards a car bomb exploded in the crowd gathering in front of the club (SO 5.9.2018) The Islamic State (IS / ISKP) claimed responsibility for the attack (RFE / RL 5.9.2018 ).

KI from 08/22/2018, attacks by the Islamic State (IS) in Kabul and Paktia and Taliban activities in Ghazni, Baghlan, Faryab and Kunduz between 07/22/2018 and 08/20/2018; (relevant for section 3 / security situation)

Kidnapping on the Takhar-Kunduz-Autobahn 08/20/2018

On August 20, 2018, the Taliban hijacked 170 passengers from three buses that were traveling to Kabul on the Takhar-Kunduz motorway (Tolonews August 20, 2018; see IFQ August 20, 2018). According to sources, the abductees were taken to the village of Nikpe, Kunduz province, where fighting broke out between the Afghan security forces and the insurgents. A total of 149 people were released, while the remaining 21 are still under the control of the Taliban (IFQ 8/20/2018). The reason for the kidnapping was the search for members of the Afghan security forces or officials (IFQ 08/20/2018; see BBC 08/20/2018). The kidnapping took place after the ceasefire announced by President Ashraf Ghani, which was supposed to run from 08/20/2018 to 11/19/2018 and was rejected by the Taliban (Reuters 08/20/2018; see Tolonews 08/19/2018).

IS attack on the Mawoud Academy in Kabul August 15, 2018

A suicide bomber blew himself up on the afternoon of August 15, 2018 in a private education center in the Dasht-e Barchi district of Kabul, the majority of the residents of which are Shiites (NZZ August 16, 2018; see BBC August 15, 2018, Repubblica August 15, 2018). The detonation resulted in 34 dead and 56 injured (Reuters August 16, 2018a; see NZZ August 16, 2018, Repubblica August 15, 2018). The majority of the victims were students who were preparing for the university entrance exams at the Mawoud Academy (Reuters 08/16/2018; see RFE / RL 08/17/2018). The Islamic State (IS) confessed to the incident (RFE / RL August 17, 2018; see Reuters August 16, 2018b).

Fight in the provinces of Ghazni, Baghlan and Faryab

On Thursday, August 9, 2018, the Taliban launched an offensive to conquer the capital Ghaznis, a strategically important province located on the Kabul-Kandahar axis (Repubblica August 13, 2018; see ANSA August 13, 2018, CBS August 14, 2018 ). After five days of clashes between the Afghan security forces and the insurgents, the latter were pushed back (AB August 15, 2018; see Xinhua August 15, 2018). Around 100 members of the security forces and an unknown number of civilians and Taliban were killed during the fighting (DS August 13, 2018; see ANSA August 13, 2018).

On August 15, 2018, the Taliban attacked a military post in the northern province of Baghlan, killing around 40 security forces (AJ August 15, 2018; see Repubblica August 15, 2018, BZ August 15, 2018).

There was also fighting in the Ghormach district of Faryab province: Between August 12, 2018 and August 13, 2018, the Taliban attacked an Afghan military base, known as Camp Chinaya, killing around 17 members of the security forces (ANSA August 14, 2018; see CBS August 14, 2018, Tolonews August 12, 2018). According to sources, the security forces surrendered after three days of fighting and surrendered to the insurgents (CBS 8/14/2018; see ANSA 8/14/2018).

IS attack on Shiite mosque in Gardez city in Paktia 3.8.2018

On Friday, 3.8.2018, 39 people were killed and another 80 injured in a suicide attack inside the Shiite mosque Khawaja Hassan in Gardez City in the Paktia province (SI 4.8.2018; see Reuters 3.8.2018, FAZ 3.8.2018). The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack (SI August 4, 2018).

IS attack in front of the airport in Kabul July 22, 2018

On Sunday, July 22nd, 2018, a suicide attack took place in front of the main entrance gate of Kabul airport. The assassin blew himself up shortly after the Afghan Vice President Rashid Dostum returned to Afghanistan from a one-year stay in Turkey and left the airport in his convoy (AJ July 23, 2018; see Reuters July 23, 2018). About 23 people were killed and 107 were injured (ZO August 15, 2018; cf. France24). The Islamic State (IS) claimed the attack for itself (AJ July 23, 2018; see Reuters July 23, 2018).

Political situation:

After the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, a new constitution was drawn up and adopted in 2004 (BFA State Documentation 7.2016; cf. Casolino 2011). It is based on the constitution from 1964. When it was ratified, this constitution stipulated that no law may violate the principles and provisions of Islam and that all citizens of Afghanistan, men and women, have equal rights and obligations before the law (BFA State Documentation 3.2014; see Casolino 2011, MPI January 27, 2004).

The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan provides that the President of the Republic is directly elected by the people and his mandate is five years (Casolino 2011). The constitution implicitly ascribes the leadership of the executive to the president (AAN 02/13/2015).

After the presidential elections in 2014, the two candidates Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah agreed on a government of national unity (RNE) in mid-2014 (AM 2015; cf. DW 9/30/2014). The RNE Agreement of September 21, 2014 introduced the post of CEO (Chief Executive Officer) in addition to the office of President, whose powers correspond to those of a Prime Minister. A loya jirga [note: largest national assembly to clarify important political and constitutional questions] has to decide on the exact form and institutionalization of the CEO's post (AAN 02/13/2015; cf. AAN undated), but the Convening a loya jirga depends on the holding of elections (CRS 12/13/2017).

As a result, Afghan domestic politics were marked by protracted disputes between the two government camps under the leadership of President Ashraf Ghani and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah. Shortly before the Warsaw NATO summit in July 2016, all ministerial offices were finally filled (AA 9.2016).

Parliament and parliamentary elections

The Afghan National Assembly is the country's highest legislative institution and acts on behalf of the entire Afghan people (Casolino 2011). It consists of the lower house, also called wolesi jirga, "chamber of the people", and the upper house, meshrano jirga also called "council of elders" or "senate". The lower house has 250 seats, which are distributed proportionally to the population in the 34 provinces. According to the constitution, 68 seats are reserved for women, ten seats for the Kuchi minority and one seat in the lower house for representatives of the Hindu and Sikh communities (AAN January 22, 2017; see USDOS April 20, 2018, USDOS August 15, 2017, CRS December 13 . 2017, Casolino 2011). The members of the lower house have a five-year mandate (Casolino 2011). The constitutional quotas guarantee a proportion of women of around 25% in the lower house (AAN January 22, 2017).

The upper house has 102 seats (IPU February 27, 2018). Two thirds of these are awarded by the elected provincial councils. The remaining third, of which 50% must be occupied by women, is allocated by the President himself. Two of the seats to be allocated by the President are constitutionally intended for the Kuchi minority and two more for disabled people. A seat is also de facto reserved for a representative of the Hindu or Sikh community (USDOS April 20, 2018; see USDOS August 15, 2017).

Parliament's role remains limited. With critical hearings and amendments to bills in some important points, the MPs prove that Parliament is basically functional. At the same time, parliament uses its constitutional rights to destructively hinder the work of the government. Sometimes to block for longer periods of time and allow concessions to be bought off through financial donations to individual MPs. The House of Commons in particular has turned itself into opponents of both the RNE and civil society. In general, unfortunately, the legislature has a poorly developed party system and a lack of accountability on the part of parliamentarians to their voters (AA 5.2018).

The parliamentary elections announced for October 2016 could not be held on the planned date due to pending electoral law reforms. The existing parliament therefore remains in office (AA 9.2016; see CRS 12.1.2017). The new electoral law was passed in September 2016 and at the beginning of April 2018 the independent electoral commission (IEC) set October 20, 2018 as the new election date. The district elections are to take place at the same time (AAN April 12, 2018; see AAN January 22, 2017, AAN December 18, 2016).

Parties

The Afghan constitution allows the establishment of political parties as long as their program does not contradict the principles of Islam (USDOS August 15, 2017). In order to give the parties a general and national character, the constitution forbids any form of union in political organizations based on ethnic, linguistic or religious affiliation (Casolino 2011). Also, no legally established party or organization may be dissolved without legal justification and without a judicial decision (AE o. D.). The term "party" currently encompasses a number of organizations with very different organizational and political backgrounds. Nevertheless, there are similarities in the way they work. A number of them were able to influence the executive and legislative branches of the government (USIP 3.2015).

Most of these groups, however, appear more as vehicles of power for their leaders than as political and programmatic parties. Ethnic proportional representation, personal relationships and ad hoc coalitions traditionally enjoy more influence than political organizations. The weakness of the developing party system is due to structural elements (such as the lack of a party financing law) as well as a general skepticism from the population and the media. Attempts at reform are underway, but are repeatedly disrupted by the different interests, for example by the lower house itself (AA 9.2016). A high degree of fragmentation and an orientation towards leaders are characteristic features of the Afghan party landscape (AAN 6.5.2018).

As of May 2018, 74 parties were registered with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) (AAN 6.5.2018).

Party landscape and opposition

After two years of negotiations, representatives of the Afghan government and the Hezb-e Islami signed an agreement (CRS January 12, 2017) in September 2016 that guarantees the latter immunity for "past political and military" acts. The group committed itself to stop all military activities (DW 29.9.2016). The agreement included the possibility of a government post for the historical leader of the Hezb-e-Islami, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar; The Afghan government should also endeavor to have international sanctions against Hekmatyar lifted (CRS January 12, 2017). In fact, it was removed from the UN Security Council's sanctions list in February 2017 (AAN 3 May 2017). Hekmatyar returned to Kabul on May 4, 2017 (AAN 4 May 2017). The return of Hekmatyar led, among other things, to internal party tensions, since not all factions within the Hezb-e Islami agree to the obligation arising from the 2016 peace agreement to reunite under Hekmatyar's leadership (AAN November 25, 2017; cf. 6.5.2018). The inner-party conflict continues (Tolonews March 14, 2018).

At the end of June 2017, representatives of the Jamiat-e Islami party under Salahuddin Rabbani and Atta Muhammad Noor, the Jombesh-e Melli-ye Islami party under Abdul Rashid Dostum and the Hezb-e Wahdat-e Mardom party under Mardom Muhammad Mohaqeq founded the semi-opposition "Coalition for the Salvation of Afghanistan", also known as the "Ankara Coalition". This coalition consists of three large political parties with strong ethnic support (Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazara respectively) (AB November 18, 2017; cf. AAN May 6, 2018).

Supporters of the still politically active former President Hamid Karzai founded a new political movement in October 2017, the Mehwar-e Mardom-e Afghanistan (The People's Axis of Afghanistan), under the unofficial leadership of Rahmatullah Nabil, the former head of the Afghan Secret Service (NDS ). Later, the members of the movement distanced themselves from the political views of Hamid Karzai (AAN 6.5.2018; see AAN 11.10.2017).

Anwarul Haq Ahadi, the longtime leader of the Afghan Mellat, one of the oldest parties in Afghanistan, allied himself with the former mujahideen party Harakat-e Enqilab-e Eslami-e Afghanistan. Together, these two parties take part in the New National Front of Afghanistan (NNF), one of the most critical opposition groups in Afghanistan (AAN 6.5.2018; cf. AB May 29, 2017).

Another opposition party is the Hezb-e Kongara-ya Melli-ye Afghanistan (The National Congress Party of Afghanistan) under the leadership of Abdul Latif Pedram (FROM January 15, 2016; cf. FROM May 29, 2017).

The left-wing Hezb-e-Watan party (The Fatherland Party) was also brought back to life with the intention of bringing together an important segment of the former left forces in Afghanistan (AAN 6.5.2018; see AAN 21.8.2017).

Peace and reconciliation process

On February 28, 2018, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani made the Taliban an offer of peace (NYT March 11, 2018; see TS February 28, 2018). The acceptance of the offer by the Taliban would, according to Ghani, grant them various guarantees, such as an amnesty, the recognition of the Taliban movement as a political party, an amendment to the constitution and the lifting of sanctions against its leaders (TD 7.3.2018). According to sources, the acceptance or rejection of the offer is currently being discussed among the ranks of the Taliban (Tolonews April 16, 2018; see Tolonews April 11, 2018). At the beginning of 2018, two peace conferences on the security situation in Afghanistan took place: the second round of the Kabul process [note: peace conference initiated by the Afghan government with international participation] and the peace conference in Tashkent (TD 24.3.2018; see TD 7.3.2018 , NZZ 28.2.2018). At the beginning of April, President Ghani called on the Taliban to register as a political group for the parliamentary elections in October 2018, but this was rejected by them (Tolonews April 16, 2018). At the end of April 2018, anti-government groups (mainly IS, but also the Taliban) attacked the electoral registration authorities in various provinces (see Chapter 3. "Security situation").

On May 19, 2018, the Taliban declared that they would no longer attack members of the Afghan security forces if they left their troops, thus granting them an "amnesty". In their statement, the insurgents declared that the target of their spring offensive was America and their allies (AJ May 19, 2018).

On June 7, 2018, President Ashraf Ghani announced a ceasefire with the Taliban for the period June 12, 2018 to June 20, 2018. The declaration came after over 2,000 religious scholars from all over Afghanistan had gathered in Kabul on June 4, 2018 and issued a fatwa to end the violence (Tolonews 7 June 2018; see Reuters 7 June 2018, RFL / RL 5 June 2018). The fatwa declared suicide attacks illegal (according to Islamic law, note) and called on the Taliban to support the peace process (Reuters June 5, 2018). The Taliban themselves accepted the offer on 9.6.2018 and declared a three-day ceasefire (the first three days of the Eid festival, note). However, the ceasefire would not apply to the foreign security forces; the Taliban would also defend themselves in the event of a military attack (HDN June 10, 2018; see TH June 10, 2018, Tolonews June 9, 2018).

Security situation:

Because of a series of high-profile attacks in urban centers carried out by anti-government elements, the United Nations (UN) declared the security situation to be very unstable in February 2018 (UNGASC February 27, 2018).

In 2017, the non-governmental organization INSO (International NGO Safety Organization) registered 29,824 safety-related incidents nationwide. In a year-on-year comparison, INSO registered 28,838 security-related incidents nationwide in 2016 and 25,288 in 2015. Security incidents include INSO threats, assaults, direct fire, kidnappings, incidents with IEDs (booby traps / unconventional explosive devices or IEDs) and other types of incidents (INSO undated).

For 2017, the UN registered a total of 23,744 security-related incidents in Afghanistan (UNGASC February 27, 2018); for the whole of 2016 there were 23,712 (UNGASC 9/3/2017). A total of 22,634 security-related incidents were registered nationwide in 2015 (UNGASC 15.3.2016).

In 2017, armed clashes continued to be the main cause (63%) of all recorded security incidents, followed by IEDs (IEDs / Unconventional IEDs) and air strikes.For the whole of 2017, 14,998 armed clashes were recorded (2016: 14,977 armed clashes) (USDOD 12.2017). In August 2017, the United Nations (UN) reclassified Afghanistan, which had previously been a "post-conflict country", as a "conflict country"; This does not mean that no progress has taken place, but the current conflict threatens the sustainability of the achievements (UNGASC 10.8.2017).

The number of air strikes has increased by 67% compared to 2016, and more targeted killings by 6%. The number of suicide bombings has also increased by 50%. Eastern regions had the highest number of incidents, followed by southern regions. These two regions together were affected by 55% of all security-related incidents (UNGASC February 27, 2018). For the reporting period December 15, 2017 - February 15, 2018, a decrease (-6%) in security-related incidents can be recorded compared to the same reporting period in 2016 (UNGASC February 27, 2018).

Afghanistan continues to face a foreign-backed and resilient insurgency. Nonetheless, the Afghan security forces have shown their determination and growing capabilities in the fight against the Taliban-led insurgency. The Afghan government retains control of Kabul, larger population centers, the most important transport routes and most of the district centers (USDOD 12.2017). Although the Taliban fought over district centers, they were unable to threaten any provincial capitals (apart from Farah City; see AAN 6/6/2018) - a significant milestone for the ANDSF (USDOD 12/2017; see UNGASC 2/27/2018); Afghan and international security officials ascribed this milestone to the intensive air strikes by the Afghan national army and the air force as well as increased night raids by Afghan special forces (UNGASC February 27, 2018).

The high-profile attacks carried out by the insurgents in urban centers undermined public morale and threatened to undermine trust in the government. Despite this series of violence in urban regions, there was a decline in Taliban attacks across the country in winter (UNGASC February 27, 2018). Historically, however, the Taliban's attacks in winter always decline, although they do not completely stop their attacks in autumn and winter. With the arrival of spring, the insurgents accelerated their pace of operations again. The decrease in incidents in the last quarter of 2017 was therefore in line with previous schemes (LIGM 02/15/2018).

Attacks or attacks and attacks on high-level targets

The Taliban and other insurgent groups such as the Islamic State (IS) continued to carry out "high-profile" attacks, especially in the area of ​​the capital, with the aim of gaining media coverage and thus creating a feeling of insecurity and thus the legitimacy of the undermine the Afghan government (USDOD 12.2017; see SBS 28.2.2018, NZZ 21.3.2018, UNGASC 27.2.2018). Insurgents may see attacks on the capital as an effective way to undermine popular trust in the government, rather than trying to capture and hold territory in rural areas (BBC 03/21/2018).

The number of high-profile attacks had increased from 1.6. - 20.11.2017 increased compared to the same period of the previous year (USDOD 12.2017). In the first months of 2018, attacks or attacks by the Taliban and IS increased in various parts of Kabul (AJ February 24, 2018; see Slate April 22, 2018). In response to the increasing attacks, air strikes and security operations have been stepped up, pushing back insurgents in some areas (BBC 03/21/2018); Special operations were also carried out in the capital, as well as efforts by the Americans to identify and localize terrorists (WSJ March 21, 2018).

Nationwide, insurgents, including the Taliban and IS, intensified their attacks on Afghan troops and police officers in the months before January 2018 (TG January 29, 2018; cf. BBC January 29, 2018); The violence of insurgents against aid workers has also increased in recent years (The Guardian January 24, 2018). The Taliban are stepping up operations to drive out foreign forces; the IS, however, tries to expand its relatively small sphere of influence. In this case, the capital Kabul is of interest to both groups (AP January 30, 2018).

Attacks on Afghan security forces and clashes between them and the Taliban continue (AJ May 22, 2018; AD May 20, 2018).

An increase in the number of violent incidents with high public profile was also registered (UNGASC February 27, 2018), excerpts of which are given here for illustration purposes (note from the state documentation: The following list contains high-profile incidents as well as attacks or attacks on high-level targets and does not claim to be complete).

* Suicide attack in front of the Ministry for Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) in Kabul: On June 11, 2018, twelve people were killed and 30 others injured in a suicide attack in front of the entrance gate of the MRRD. According to sources, women, children and employees of the ministry were among the victims (AJ 06/11/2018). The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack (Reuters 06/11/2018; Gandhara 06/11/2018).

* Attack on the Afghan Ministry of the Interior (MoI) in Kabul: On May 30, 2018, armed men attacked the MoI headquarters in Kabul after a vehicle loaded with explosives exploded in front of the building's entrance gate. One policeman was killed in the incident. The attackers were killed by the security forces after a two-hour battle. The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack (CNN May 30, 2018; see Gandhara May 30, 2018)

* Attack on police bases in Ghazni: At least 14 police officers were killed in Taliban attacks on various police bases in the Afghan province of Ghazni on May 21, 2018 (AJ May 22, 2018).

* Attack on government office in Jalalabad: After an attack on the financial authority of Nangarhar province in Jalalabad, at least ten people, including civilians, were killed and 40 others were injured on May 13, 2018 (Pajhwok May 13, 2018; see Tolonews May 13, 2018 ). The attackers were killed by the security forces (AJ May 13, 2018). According to sources, the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack (AJ May 13, 2018).

* Attack on police stations in Kabul: On May 9, 2018, armed men attacked a police station in Dasht-e-Barchi and Shar-i-Naw, killing two policemen and wounding six civilians. According to sources, two assassins were also killed by the security forces (Pajhwok 9 May 2018). IS committed itself to the attack (Pajhwok May 9, 2018; see Tolonews May 9, 2018).

* Suicide attack in Kandahar: On April 30, 2018, eleven children were killed and 16 other people were injured in a suicide attack on a convoy of NATO troops in Haji Abdullah Khan in the Daman district of Kandahar province; Romanian soldiers were among the injured (Tolonews April 30, 2018b; see APN April 30, 2018b, Focus April 30, 2018, IM April 30, 2018). Neither IS nor the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack (Spiegel April 30, 2018; see Tolonews April 30, 2018b).

* Double attack in Kabul: On April 30, 2018, a double attack took place in the Shash Derak district in the capital Kabul, in which suicide bombers carried out two explosions (AJ April 30, 2018; see APN April 30, 2018a). The first detonation occurred near the headquarters of the Afghan Secret Service (NDS) and was carried out by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle; between three and five people were killed and between six and eleven others injured (DZ April 30, 2018; see APN April 30, 2018b); According to sources, these were civilians (Focus April 30, 2018). The second detonation was caused by another suicide bomber who, disguised as a reporter, mingled with the journalists, paramedics and police officers gathered at the scene (DZ April 30, 2018; see APN April 30, 2018b, Pajhwok April 30, 2018, Tolonews April 30. 2018a). Ten journalists who worked for Afghan and international media were killed in the process (TI 1.5.2018; see AJ April 30, 2018, APN April 30, 2018a,). According to sources, between 25 and 29 people were killed and 49 injured in the two attacks (AJ April 30, 2018; see APN April 30, 2018a, DZ April 30, 2018, Tolonews April 30, 2018a). The IS confessed to both attacks (DZ April 30, 2018; see APN April 30, 2018a). According to sources, secret service employees were the target of the attack (DZ April 30, 2018; see APN April 30, 2018a).

* Attack on the Marshal Fahim Military Academy: On January 29, 2018, five armed attackers attacked a military outpost near the Marshal Fahim Military Academy (also known as the Defense Academy), which is located in a western outer district of the capital. At least 11 soldiers were killed and 15 others injured in the incident before the four attackers were killed and another could be caught. The IS confessed to the incident (Reuters January 29, 2018; see NYT January 28, 2018).

* Bomb attack with a vehicle in Kabul: On January 27, 2018, a Taliban suicide bomber killed more than 100 people and injured at least 235 others (Reuters January 27, 2018; see TG January 28, 2018). A bomb - hidden in an ambulance - detonated in a poorly secured area of ​​the Afghan capital (TG 27.1.2018; see TG 28.1.2018) - the so-called government and diplomatic quarter (Reuters 27.1.2018).

* Attack on an international organization (Save the Children - SCI) in Jalalabad: On January 24, 2018, a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle loaded with explosives on the premises of the non-governmental organization (NGO) Save The Children in the provincial capital of Jalalabad. At least two people were killed and twelve others injured; the IS confessed to this incident (BBC January 24, 2018; see Reuters January 24, 2018, TG January 24, 2018).

* Attack on the Hotel Intercontinental in Kabul: On January 20, 2018, five armed men attacked the luxury Hotel Intercontinental in Kabul. The attack was repulsed by Afghan troops after fighting for control of the building all night (BBC January 21, 2018; cf. DW January 21, 2018). At least 14 foreigners and four Afghans were killed. Ten other people were injured, including six members of the security forces (NYT 1/21/2018). 160 people were saved (BBC January 21, 2018). All five attackers were killed by the security forces (Reuters January 20, 2018). The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack (DW 21.1.2018).

* Suicide attack with a tank truck loaded with explosives:

On May 31, 2017, more than 150 people were killed in a suicide attack in the highly secured diplomatic quarter of Kabul, and at least 300 others were seriously injured (FAZ May 6, 2017; see AJ May 31, 2017, BBC May 31, 2017; UN News Center May 31, 2017) . The IS confessed to this incident (FN 7.6.2017).

Attacks against believers and places of worship

An increasing number of attacks against religious sites, religious leaders and believers were recorded; 499 civilian casualties (202 dead and 297 injured) were recorded in 38 attacks in 2017. The number of such incidents has tripled compared to 2016 (377 civilian victims, 86 dead and 291 injured in 12 incidents), while the number of civilian victims increased by 32% (UNAMA 2.2018). The UN also recorded killings, kidnappings, threats and intimidation of religious people in 2016 and 2017 - mainly by anti-government elements. It is possible for religious leaders to change public positions through their sermons, which makes them the target of anti-government elements (UNAMA November 7, 2017). Most of the civilian victims were Shiite Muslims. The attacks were carried out by anti-government elements - mainly ISIS (UNAMA November 7, 2017; see UNAMA 2.2018). However, attacks were also carried out on Sunni mosques and religious leaders (TG October 20, 2017; see UNAMA November 7, 2017)

These serial and violent attacks on religious targets have prompted the Afghan government to take new measures to protect places of worship: 2,500 people were recruited and armed across the country to protect 600 mosques and temples from attacks (UNGASC December 20, 2017).

To illustrate, some examples of attacks against believers and places of worship are given below (note from the state documentation: the following list does not claim to be exhaustive)

* Attack on the meeting of religious scholars in Kabul: On June 4, 2018, a suicide attack took place during a loya jirga between more than 2,000 Afghan religious scholars who issued a fatwa calling for an end to the violence. 14 people were killed and others injured in the attack (Tolonews 7/7/2018; see Reuters 5/6/2018). According to sources, the IS confessed to the attack (Reuters June 5, 2018; see RFE / RL 5 June 2018).

* Attack on the cricket stadium in Jalalabad: On May 18, 2018, one day after the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan, at least eight people were killed and at least 43 were injured in an attack during a cricket match in the provincial capital of Nangarhars Jalalabad (TRT May 19. 2018; see Tolonews May 19, 2018, TG May 20, 2018). According to sources, the direct target of this attack were civilian spectators of the match (TG May 20, 2018; RFE / RL May 19, 2018), but officials were also among the victims (TNI May 19, 2018). According to sources, no anti-government group committed to the attack (RFE / RL May 19, 2018); the Taliban denied their involvement in the attack (Tolonews May 19, 2018; see TG May 20, 2018).

* Suicide attack during Nowruz celebrations: On March 21, 2018 (Nowruz Festival; Persian New Year) there was a suicide attack near the Shiite Kart-e Sakhi shrine, which is revered by many Afghan communities - especially the Shiite minority . It is a central place where New Year's prayer is held in Kabul. Many young people who danced, sang and celebrated were among the 31 killed; 65 others were injured (BBC March 21, 2018). The Nowruz celebrations last several days in Afghanistan and will culminate on March 21 (NZZ March 21, 2018). The IS confessed to the incident on its propaganda website Amaq (RFE / RL 21.3.2018).

* Attacks on mosques: On October 20, 2017, attacks on mosques took place both in Kabul and in the province of Ghor: during Friday prayers, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest in the Shiite mosque, Imam Zaman, in Kabul. He killed at least 30 people and injured 45 others. On the same day, also during Friday prayers, a suicide bomber attacked a Sunni mosque in Ghor and killed 33 people (Telegraph October 20, 2017; cf. TG October 20, 2017).

* Killings in Kandahar: In October 2017, the Afghan Taliban confessed to the killing of two religious figures in Kandahar province. The Taliban legitimized the killings by calling them government spies (UNAMA November 7, 2017).

* Attack on Shiite mosque: On August 2nd, 2017, a suicide bomber and an armed shooter stormed the Shiite mosque Jawadia in Herat City during evening prayers; at least 30 people were killed (BBC August 3, 2017; see Pajhwok August 2, 2017). A total of 100 civilian victims were mentioned (Pajhwok August 2nd, 2017). The IS confessed to this incident (BBC 3.8.2017).

* Kidnapping in Nangarhar: The Taliban kidnapped and tortured a religious scholar in Nangarhar province, whose sons were members of the ANDSF - they only released him when the ransom was paid for him (UNAMA November 7, 2017).

* In Badakhshan Province, a religious leader was kidnapped by the Taliban for preaching against the Taliban. He was tortured and died (UNAMA November 7, 2017).

Civilians

In 2017, the UNAMA registered 10,453 civilian victims (3,438 dead and 7,015 injured) - a decrease of 9% compared to the previous year 2016 (11,434 civilian victims with 3,510 dead and 7,924 injured). A decrease has been recorded for the first time since 2012: compared to 2016, the number of civilian deaths has decreased by 2%, while the number of injuries has decreased by 11%. Between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2017, a total of 28,291 deaths and 52,366 injuries were recorded by the UNAMA. Anti-government groups were responsible for 65% of all civilian casualties in 2017; The main causes were IEDs, followed by suicide attacks and complex attacks (UNAMA 2.2018). UNAMA registered in the period from January 1st, 2018 to March 31st, 2018

2,258 civilian casualties (763 dead and 1,495 injured). The figures reflect similar values ​​as in the comparison quarters for the years 2016 and 2017. A new trend is observed for 2018: the most common cause of civilian casualties were IEDs and complex attacks. In second place were ground offensives, followed by targeted killings, unexploded ordnance (Engl. UXO, "Unexploded Ordnance") and air missions. The residents of the provinces of Kabul, Helmand, Nangarhar, Faryab and Kandahar were most frequently affected by the conflict (UNAMA April 12, 2018).

Anti-government groups were assigned 6,768 civilian casualties (2,303 dead and 4,465 injured) nationwide in 2017 - this indicates a decrease of 3% compared to the previous year's figure of 7,003 civilian victims (2,138 dead and 4,865 injured). The decline in civilian casualties attributed to anti-government groups is due to a decline in civilian casualties from ground exposure, IEDs and remote-controlled bombs. Conversely, the number of civilian casualties due to suicide attacks and complex attacks has increased. The number of civilian and non-civilian victims who were injured as a result of targeted killings by anti-government elements is similar to that in 2016 (UNAMA 2.2018).

In January 2018, 56.3% of the districts were under the control or influence of the Afghan government, while insurgents controlled or had 14.5% of the districts under its influence. The remaining 29.2% of the districts were contested. As of January 2018, the provinces with the highest number of districts controlled by insurgents were Uruzgan, Kunduz and Helmand. All provincial capitals were under the control or influence of the Afghan government (SIGAR April 30, 2018).