After the latest Kabul blast, change needs to be made in Afghanistan and it needs to be made now.
No less than a month since the “mother of bombs” was dropped on Afghanistan has the country yet again been the subject of continuing unrest. It was on Wednesday that 90 people were killed by a car bomb close to the German embassy and another 461 injured that Kabul once again felt the sting of civilian attack.
The Kabul attack was condemned by American President Donald Trump who called those who would carry out such an assault as “enemies of all civilized people”. The incident is one of the deadliest the country has seen since the 2001 American intervention, and many are left wondering if the capital is truly safe.
On Friday anti-government protests calling for the current president to step down were mobilized by the lack of security in the country exemplified by the attack; and what has been deemed as the current government’s failure to safeguard citizens.
During the Friday demonstration, another 4 Afghans were killed by police trying to suppress protesters; many declaring that the protests would remain until the country’s chief executive Abdullah Abdullah resigned. And once again today did another 7 people die by explosives in the country’s capital.
Ironically, this time it was at the funeral of a man killed during the said anti-government protests. Abdullah the chief executive was present during the attacks and described the events as they took place. Three suicide bombs were said to detonate killing civilians and leaving another 119 injured; with the Taliban refusing to take responsibility for the attack. All three events occurring just in the first few weeks of Ramadan.
Lack of ability to protect
One can posit that all three events that happened this week all must do with one thing— lack of government protection. The growing threat of insurgent groups like the Taliban, who denied taking responsibility for the events, have gained such traction in the country that the safety of civilians has been thoroughly compromised.
Indeed, the anti-government protests in the country do not exist in a vacuum but are direct consequences of the current government’s lack of ability to keep the region safe. A civil activist by the name of Rahila Jafari stated that “our leaders are doing nothing to stop this carnage”, with UN envoy Tadamichi Yamamoto echoing that “Meaningful steps must take place now to obtain an immediate, nationwide halt to violence”. But these talks did little to stop today’s events. And perhaps the only way to solve them is through direct action, whether it be by the current government or a future one.
Moving forward with the Kabul Process conference
A regional summit in Afghanistan is expected to take place this coming week, pursuing an agenda of “peace promotion, security, and reconciliation”. Termed the Kabul Process, the summit is to gain international support against Afghanistan’s growing insurgent and terrorist intimidations.
The Kabul conference obviously comes in a tumultuous time in Afghanistan’s history and change indeed needs to take root if any lasting stability can be made in the country. President Ashraf Ghani himself declared that it will not just be a “ceremonial process” but a concrete step towards peace in the Afghanistan. But the reality is that the conference without support from the international community is doomed to fail in its resolutions.
Afghanistan’s security problems are more than the current government, or any one government in the region can handle. The strength of groups like the Taliban and the unpredictability of groups like the Islamic State make it virtually impossible for the current government to safeguard its citizens without the help of the outside world.
Indeed, the events of this week exemplify the help the country needs and growing unrest coupled with more civilian attacks in Kabul epitomize the dilemma of Afghanistan. Yet many are still hopeful that long lasting peace can be achieved in the region and that the events that took place recently are not precedents for a dangerous future in Afghanistan. And perhaps they are right. But one thing is certain, change needs to be made and it needs to be made now.