Discover more from The Afghan Digest
Daily Evacuation Brief | March 3, 2022
Daily news about Afghanistan and the surrounding region powered by Operation Snow Leopard
LAST 24 HOURS:
An uptick in murders across the country has been reported. Several bodies have been recovered over the last 24 hours under ‘mysterious circumstances’. Sources believe the murders were directly related to information gleaned from people interrogated during the recent security crackdown.
Searches continued with an emphasis on neighborhoods in Jalalabad. Former Afghan Army officials claim the tactics being employed are very similar to those that NATO forces trained.
Traffic has slowed around Kabul as new checkpoint procedures take effect. People in cars are being asked specific information about where they live. In a few instances, phones and money have been confiscated.
The UN Security Council held a meeting on Afghanistan to discuss UNAMA’s most recent report as their 6-month mandate comes to a close. Early analysis suggests most countries do not yet see evidence the Taliban are holding to agreements reached in the round of Doha talks. However, UN Special Representative for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons strongly recommended working with the de facto authorities toward humanitarian goals and concurred with the Secretary-General’s suggestion of extending UNAMA’s Remarks from the US Mission Director to the UN can be found here and Special Representative Lyons’ remarks are here. China’s envoy made another plea to lift sanctions but most observers attribute China’s stance has more to do with securing lucrative mining contracts than the welfare of the Afghan people.
NEXT 24 HOURS:
Searches are expected to continue throughout cities in the North and Kabul. Both Khost and Herat have received additional Taliban personnel to reinforce the local forces. Searches are expected to expand in both cities over the next 24 hours. Although the stated purposes of the searches (fighting criminality) are admirable, sources have indicated that follow-up searches of residences seem to be only focused on former government officials and members of the military/police/intelligence services.
A recent demonstration by former judges about their lack of pay and living conditions may provoke an internal review by the Ministry of the Interior. Sources indicated several allegations of corruption have been made against judges and an investigation may be in the offing.
NATO countries are expected to meet and discuss the UN proposal for a one-year mandate
DE FACTO RECOGNITION? OR THE END OF UNAMA?
CONTEXT: Ever since its establishment in 2002, UNAMA, the UN’s Special Political Mission to assist the Afghan government and people, has been the primary entity managing aid and development initiatives in Afghanistan. Following the Taliban’s fall, UNAMA took a big step back as the dust settled, despite its mandate being extended to March 17, 2022. As the mandate’s expiration approaches, major conversations have been ongoing regarding what the future mission will look like and if UNAMA should continue to exist at all.
During the March 2nd UN Security Council meeting on Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, the UN Secretary General’s special envoy for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, reiterated Secretary-General Guterres’ proposal of renewing UNAMA’s mandate for one year. Although the particulars of the new mandate have not been made public, sources indicate it will reorient away from supporting government institutions and toward economic development, education, human rights, and other key areas.
However, the biggest takeaway from the UNSC meeting was UNAMA’s desired emphasis on partnering with Afghanistan’s de facto authorities, a step they view as critical to supporting the Afghan people. Most Council members who spoke subsequently agreed with this proposal. However, the drafted new mandate, which remains private for now, includes a long list of about 30 milestones the Taliban are expected to make progress on. These include:
Promoting gender equality and a guarantee of respect for human rights
A free and unmolested press
Individual religious autonomy
An end to state sponsored persecution of former government officials
Unrestricted movement of personnel and supplies tied to the humanitarian effort
International financial monitors within the Central Bank
It is unclear what the consequences will be for the Taliban or UNAMA if these conditions are not met. If the Taliban show little progress this year, it is possible that UNAMA’s mandate will not be renewed in 2023. Notably, the mission is already somewhat vulnerable due to internal politics within the United Nations.
ANALYSIS: Based on a brief analysis of the current draft, the list of conditions looks nearly impossible for a patriarchal theocracy to meet. Ultimately, we feel these edicts will be viewed as intrusions on whatever sovereignty the Taliban believe they possess. The majority of the demands will be contrary to Sharia law, and several represent a return to the status quo under the previous regime. The Afghan Digest believes the discussion with the Taliban will quickly devolve into a series of negotiations about aid vs. individual rights.
An ancillary benefit of the proposal would be buying time. As we have previously stated, it is unclear how tight the Taliban’ grip on power is. Factionalism within two internal camps, Kandahari and Haqqani, continues to bubble under the surface, and the ruse of “no separatist groups” being active in the country has been embarrassingly disproven. The regime could be tested early in 2022. It is unlikely they will be fully driven out of power, but they could be forced to accede to demands in order to quell opposition.
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 91.78 AFN (as of 02 MAR 2022)
By Waliullah Rahmani and Steven Butler – CPJ
On January 19, the Taliban’s General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI) publicly called on Afghan media to…
By Bakhtar News Agency
Security officials say the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is expelling biased, destructive, and abusive people from the security forces in…
By Erfanyar – Pajhwok Afghan News
Security forces have arrested a man over illegal sale of weapons and a Tajik citizen over alleged ties with…
By Bakhtar News Agency
The Attorney General of bureau as well instructed to initiate an investigation into the cases of corrupt officials in that…
The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) wrote in a recent report that Chinese companies are…
International News Relating to Afghanistan
By Mujeep R. Awrang – TOLO News
UN special envoy Deborah Lyons called for cooperation with the de facto authorities and proposed a…
By Najibullah Lalzoy – Khaama Press
German officials announced that they-Germany- in coordination and cooperation with the United Kingdom will be…
By Radio Free Europe
The executive board of the World Bank on March 1 approved a plan to use more than $1 billion from a…
The Absurdity of the Day
By MEHR News Agency
Speaking to an English media outlet on Wednesday, the overthrown Afghan president said that trust in the…
Before you go:
All our funds go toward caseworkers supporting evacuations, the evacuations themselves, and/or operational costs to keep this mission going.
Check out our other content coming soon:
Whispers: The best open source intelligence and analysis on Afghanistan. (weekly- members only)
Anatomy of a Crisis: Pragmatic thought leadership on disaster resilience and crisis management from a variety of experts. (weekly- members only)
Afghan Voices: Powerful Afghan voices making a difference in Afghanistan and around the world. (biweekly- all subscribers)
Allies in Action: Allies in Action who are committed to evacuation and resettlement efforts. (biweekly- all subscribers)
We won’t forget our allies.
We believe in sharing many opinions and looking from many different perspectives. This means we do not necessarily agree with everything shared in the news or contributor articles, but we believe it’s important to treat other perspectives with respect and to consider their point of view.
The Fine Print:
The materials and information on this newsletter are intended for general informational purposes only and do not constitute professional advice. Information shared may or may not reflect the most current developments on the ground; accordingly, information on this newsletter is not promised or guaranteed to be correct, complete, or current. Where appropriate, users should seek their own legal or other professional advice. Roseline LLC, Operation Snow Leopard, and all website contributors accept no responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of material contained in this website and/or newsletter.