The article being discussed here is “Despite the ‘Peace Process’, Afghanistan’s Anguish Endures”, which appeared in The Guardian on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, written by Kate Clark. According to the article, on May 12, gunmen attacked a hospital in Kabul where they targeted the maternity wing and killed scores of mothers and babies in a heinous and cowardly attack. The gunmen killed 24 people, mainly mothers and as Clark (2020) posits, “The footage of one tiny baby wrapped in a blood-drenched blanket carried out during the four-hour-long attack seemed to symbolize the despair felt by many: a child born in Afghanistan can barely draw breath before war engulfs her” (para. 2). The ethnic clashes in Afghanistan have been ongoing for the last 42 years and they have devastated the country in many ways. The hospital is located in the neighborhood of Shia Muslims, especially from the Hazara ethnic community, and thus it is suspected that the Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISKP) – a local franchise of the Islamic State group might be responsible for the attacks.
According to Clark (2020), one of the aspects that make this attack worrying is that it occurred in the middle of a peace process that was initiated by the US. Therefore, the attack was a clear indication that the ongoing peace talks might not bear the desired fruits of bringing ceasefire and peace in Afghanistan. Clark (2020) notes, “America’s agreement with the Taliban was supposed to usher in talks between the insurgent movement and other Afghans…The US thought it also had an unwritten understanding that violence would remain at low levels” (para. 6). While jihadists affiliated with the Taliban have stopped attacking foreign military forces in Kabul and other areas in the country, they have turned to their fellow Afghanis, and this aspect underscores the central role that the international community has to play in restoring peace in the region.
Importance to the Global Community
The war in Afghanistan has been running for decades and it is time the international community stepped in and established peace. This conflict between the Taliban and government forces is of interest to the global community because millions of civilians have suffered for a long and without a good cause. The blatant abuse of human rights in the country is widespread and it should not be allowed to continue. A good example is the killing of innocent mothers and their babies in a maternity ward in Kabul as reported in the article by Clark (2020). These babies and mothers should not have died from these senseless killings. Therefore, the global community should be involved to come up with lasting solutions.
Second, the conflict has destroyed the country’s economy and it will take decades to restore what has been lost. First, the war has interrupted the learning process with most schools being closed. Therefore, the country lacks an educated and experienced workforce to address its economic woes (Goepner, 2018). Second, an unstable Afghanistan means instability in the entire region of the Middle East and beyond. Insurgents in other countries are likely to be emboldened by the resolve of their counterparts in Afghanistan to start a rebellion in their respective countries. This aspect means that the world will be thrown into chaos. For instance, the Arab Spring of 2013 started in Tunisia and spread quickly to Egypt and its effects are currently being felt in Syria. In the same way, the conflict in Afghanistan could spread to other countries. Additionally, the question of terrorism arises, especially in unstable countries where it is likely to thrive. The stability of Afghanistan will be a major step forward in the war against terrorism.
Role of Outside Players
The US has been a leading player in trying to bring peace to Afghanistan. The Trump administration brokered a deal with the Taliban for a ceasefire. However, on March 2, 2020, the Taliban Spokesman said, “As per the agreement, our mujahideen will not attack foreign forces but our operations will continue against the Kabul administration forces” (Clark, 2020, para. 5). This aspect indicates that the conflict in the country is far from over. Therefore, the US should pressure the Taliban into signing another peace agreement committing that locals will not be attacked. This agreement will prevent the occurrence of incidences such as the one witnessed in the Kabul hospital. Additionally, all other world leaders should come together and address the Afghanistan problem. Those supporting the Taliban should be involved in the talks to address this unending conflict for the sake of the Middle East and world peace.
The author of this article has observed professionalism in reporting. The article is neutral with the author resorting to reporting objectively what is happening in Kabul and Afghanistan at large. The work of journalists is to present facts impartially to inform the readers, and Clark has attained this objective with her reporting in this article. She does not include her opinions in her reporting, which is the ultimate mark of objective reporting.
Clark, K. (2020). Despite the ‘peace process, Afghanistan’s anguish endures. The Guardian.
Goepner, E. (2020). War state, trauma state: Why Afghanistan remains stuck in conflict. Cato Institute.