Spanish Pundit (II)

enero 11, 2008

Los europeos expulsados de Afganistán

Filed under: Afghanistan,In English,UN — Nora @ 1:29 pm

porque el Gobierno afgano les acusó de dar armas y dinero a los talibanes:

One story that appears to have largely fallen through the cracks of international news coverage during the holidays is the mysterious expulsion of two European officials from Afghanistan in late December. The Irishman Michael Semple and the Briton Melvyn Patterson are reported to have left Afghanistan in compliance with the expulsion order shortly after Christmas. Semple has been widely identified as the acting head of the European Union delegation in Afghanistan — although the site of the EU delegation, officially headed by German diplomat Hansjörg Kretschmer, makes no mention of him in this capacity. Patterson is an official of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). To the degree that the story has received attention in English-language media, it has typically been reported — for instance, by both the AP and the New York Times — that the two were accused of having “held talks” with the Taliban. If they did, this would in fact hardly be surprising: considering that Patterson’s boss, the German diplomat and UNAMA chief Tom Koenigs, has long advocated engaging the Taliban in negotiations. Last May indeed, in an interview partially translated on WPR, Koenigs went so far as to insist that one should even speak with “war criminals.” Reports coming out of Afghanistan suggest, however, that the two were accused by the Afghan government of considerably more than just talking. Thus a Dec. 27 report in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera cites Humayun Hamidzada, spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, from the Dari-language newspaper Erada. According to the Corriere report, Hamidzada “directly” accused the two officials of having passed “arms and money to the Taliban terrorists” in Musa Qala in Helmand province.

What a charming pair, hein??

Now, the question that arises me: their boss wants to engage in talks with the Taliban (something the Talibans have openly rejected several times… when Karzai has offered them talks). Did he know they were passing arms and money to the Taliban? [That is, if they did it…] Because the last paragaph of the article is sufficiently disturbing:

It is interesting to note that in his May interview, UNAMA chief Tom Koenigs specifically cited Musa Qala as an area where the U.N. had “successfully” brokered an agreement with radical forces.

What was that agreement? If we read the interview, there is striking quote:

The United Nations is attempting to integrate people as quickly as possible by way of negotiated ceasefire agreements. Political conflicts should be talked out at the negotiating table and resolved with words [mit Worten gelöst werden]. In Musa Qala such an agreement brought about peace for four months, before it broke down due to the military actions first of the Taliban and then of the ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] NATO troops. But one should not exclude the possibility of a gradual pacification.
[…]
To take an ideological approach and insist “but we won’t speak with them” is senseless. If there is a possibility for peace, we have to speak with everyone – even with suspected war criminals.

Political conflicts should be taken out at the negotiating table and resolved with words.

What is the political conflict in Afghanistan? Is this man recognising that there is an Islamist political ideology in fight with them? In that case, and considering it a flagrant violation of Human Rights and democracy (remember that the intervention in Afghanistan was motivated by such reasons), what are they talking about? Is UN then, openly rejecting those principles (well, yes, it is… why are we going to ask that… only for clearing the doubts).

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