Afghanistan: Criticism Builds as Possible War with Iraq Looms
UN officials are growing increasingly concerned that a war with Iraq could have severe consequences on humanitarian efforts elsewhere, particularly in Afghanistan, Angola, and the Ivory Coast, reported the BBC. Reports last month indicated that Ruud Lubbers, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, received warnings to prepare for Iraqi refugees, but “There’s not one government who has come to me with money,” he said. The BBC reports that some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are refusing funds from countries sponsoring war with Iraq, preferring instead to contend with existing emergencies elsewhere.
The Feminist Majority and other progressive feminist organizations continue to call for the expansion of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) beyond and within Kabul. Currently, ISAF consists of 4,800 troops, supported by 22 nations, according to the Wall Street Journal. Critics of the US effort in Afghanistan argue that without commitments from the US, the effectiveness of ISAF will continue to be limited. Rafael Robillard, head of the coalition group Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief, criticized that the Pentagon’s recently-unveiled Provincial Reconstruction Teams—which consists of 60 troops working alongside regional Afghan commanders—is “driven more by developing events in Iraq or Washington than the reality on the ground in Afghanistan,” reported the Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, Afghan President Hamid Karzai may not run for re-election next year, the Washington Post reported today. His term, which began in late 2001, is set to expire in mid-2004 after the Loya Jirga meets to draft a new constitution. In his interview with the Post, Karzai expressed reservations about running again for President: “I don’t want this country to develop personality cults or icons, I don’t like that…” He continued, “I want leaderships in Afghanistan, a multiplicity of leaderships…I want the Afghan people to have choices. I don’t want them to be stuck with one man… because of a lack of choice.”
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .