FBA in Afghanistan
The conditions for a political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan have changed drastically since the Taliban seized control over Kabul on 15 August 2021.
After 40 years of civil war, over 70 percent of the inhabitants of Afghanistan are too young to have ever lived in a country in peace. Since 2001, the main parties to the conflict are the Afghan government and the US on one side, and the Taliban movement on the other side.
State institutions are weak and people turn to non-state entities, such as regional warlords, for everyday security, public services and justice. Aside from the Taliban movement, some 20 other armed extremist groups are fighting for power and resources.
In 2018, the US declared willingness to negotiate with the Taliban about an American withdrawal of troops, and the government of Afghanistan invited the Taliban to participate in a peace process.
But at the same time as hope for peace has grown, the conflict still causes high rates of casualties, not the least stemming from different groups trying to position themselves ahead of possible peace negotiations. The war in Afghanistan is currently the world’s deadliest conflict.
Within the framework of Sweden’s development cooperation with Afghanistan, FBA is focused on one area:
Dialogue and peace mediation
Since June 2019, FBA and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, are implementing an EU project in support of an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan – EU APSM, Afghanistan Peace Support Mechanism.
FBA, Sida and various Afghan civil society organizations have co-developed a platform for dialogue on peace in Afghanistan. The platform – called the Afghanistan Mechanism for Inclusive Peace, AMIP – is supposed to create a link between the population at large and the participants in possible peace talks. The platform aims to spread information and gather considerations from different parts of the population, and to share the populations’ viewpoints with the negotiators. FBA provides continuous support and advice to the secretariat responsible for coordinating the work of the platform.
FBA has also organized trainings for a number of Afghan civil society organizations that are receiving funds from Sida, on the design of peace processes and possible ways for civil society to impact negotiations. The aim is to strengthen the ability of Afghan civil society to demand an inclusive peace process, and to participate in such a process.
In addition, FBA supports other efforts to collect and put forward the needs of different groups of the Afghan population with regards to a peace process. Strengthening the voices of Afghan women and supporting gender equality are priorities.
Click here to read the entire supplementary strategy for FBA’s work within the framework of Sweden’s development cooperation with Afghanistan 2018–2019. According to a supplementary decision by the Swedish government, the strategy has been extended to also include the year 2020.
Photo: UN Photo/Tim Page