Sara L. Carlson


More than three decades of war and hundreds of thousands killed or brutalized by the actions of warlords and insurgent commanders vying for power comprise the backdrop of modern Afghanistan. As Afghanistan continues toward a new era, seeking democracy in a country where tribal affiliations and ethnic groups often usurp any sense of patriotism, the reconciliation of armed fighters while providing an adequate grievance process for victims of war crimes must take priority in the process adopted to unify the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. This comment explores the current attempt by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to provide a system by which fighters may seek to renounce violence and reconcile with the legitimate government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In so doing, this comment will survey transitional justice approaches to reconciliation, and compare Afghanistan’s previous efforts at reconciliation with its current reconciliation and amnesty program. This comment also will highlight shortfalls in the governing legislation, focusing specifically on its failure to adequately address both the war crimes committed by the fighters now seeking amnesty and reconciliation and the grievances of their victims.



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