For decades, Afghanistan has been mired in conflict. Supported by the United States, the Afghan government is a party to non-international armed conflicts against the Taliban, as well as against the regional Khorasan branch of the Islamic State group (IS-KP). Furthermore, there is a parallel NIAC between the Taliban and IS-KP.
The entry of our Rule of Law in Armed Conflict (RULAC) online portal on these NIACs provides a detailed analysis of these conflicts, including information about parties, classification and applicable international law. It has been updated to include recent developments, including the current peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
Al Jazeera English
Al Jazeera English
On 14 February 2018, following a particularly intense wave of violence between the Taliban and governmental forces, the Taliban published an open letter where it expressed the intention to negotiate with the government. On 28 February, Afghan President Ghani affirmed that he was ready to start peace talks, keeping open the possibility to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate political party and to grant amnesty to fighters.
Our RULAC online portal provides detailed information about the ongoing negotiations that have taken place since 2018 between the Taliban and the US government, as well as between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
These negotiations led to an agreement on 12 September 2020 between representatives of the Taliban and of the Afghan government to start peace talks to put an end to the 19 years-long conflict.
Nevertheless, this decision does not imply that the NIAC between the Afghan government – supported by the United States – and the Taliban is over. In addition, it does not affect the NIAC between the Afghan government and the IS-KP, as well as between this group and the Taliban.
‘To determine the end of a NIAC, the start of peace talks and even the conclusion of a peace agreement are not enough. Indeed, armed confrontations can continue during the talks – as it is the case here – and even beyond the signing of the agreement and IHL continues to apply to these instances of violence. Instead, an armed conflict ends whenever armed confrontations have ceased and there is no concrete risk that they will resume’ explains Dr Chiara Redaelli, Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy.
‘Therefore, although these peace talks are landmark and hopefully will determine the end of hostilities, it is too early to conclude that the NIAC between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban is over’, she adds.
Major James Crawford/ Resolute Support Media
Collins Odhiambo is a Captain in the Kenyan Air Force and just completed a one-and-a-half-year assignment with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). In this interview, he tells about the programme, distance learning and what it brings to his daily work.
Enough Project/Laura Heaton
Our RULAC online portal provides a detailed analysis and legal classification of this conflict, including information about parties and applicable international law.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, examines the conduct of hostilities in situations of international armed conflict, also known as the Law of The Hague.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, discusses the protection offered by international humanitarian law (IHL) in non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) and addresses some problems and controversies specific to IHL of NIACs, including the difficulty to ensure the respect of IHL by armed non-state actors.
Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with experts, the project aims at examining how – if at all possible – IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well from universal and regional treaties.
The Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts project (RULAC) is a unique online portal that identifies and classifies all situations of armed violence that amount to an armed conflict under international humanitarian law (IHL). It is primarily a legal reference source for a broad audience, including non-specialists, interested in issues surrounding the classification of armed conflicts under IHL.