Peace and Conflict studies

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Afghanistan: election under the shadow of guns and burkas

Policeman stands guard outside a polling station in Kabul as Afghans wanting to vote queue outside before it opened

Afghans head to the polls on Saturday to replace outgoing President Hamid Karzai. Looming over the vote, though, are threats of Taliban violence, a poor economy dependent on outside aid, and the impending exit of many foreign security forces. After 13 years of rule by Karzai, eight candidates are vying for the presidency. Three of them – former foreign ministers Abdullah Abdullah and Zalmay Rassoul, and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani – are considered the favorites.

Voters on Saturday will consider just where their country stands after well over a decade of widespread bloodshed and foreign occupation. Since the US-led invasion to oust the Taliban in 2001, at least 16,000 civilians, almost 3,500 foreign troops, and thousands of Afghan soldiers have been killed. According to a UN report, at least 45 civilians were killed and 14 injured from US drone strikes in 2013 – triple the amount that occurred in 2012. US figures show the US launched over 500 drone strikes in Afghanistan last year. A Pentagon-backed independent study found that the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan will likely flourish after the bulk of foreign forces depart the country in late 2014. RT

Afghans queue to vote at a polling station in Kabul 24 23 21 A policeman frisks a man at check point near Eidgah Mosque more in Kabul Afghan police man leads way as election commission workers carry ballot boxes and election material to be transported to polling stations in Darenoor, Nangarhar province Afghan women wait in line to cast their ballots at a polling station in Mazar-i-sharif 20 A photo of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah is seen on the dashboard of a car at a checkpoint in Kabul Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah speaks to the media after voting at a polling station in Kabul Afghans set up a polling station in Kabul Afghan women vote at a polling station in Kabul An Afghan woman looks through a window as another is about to cast her ballot at a polling station in Mazar-i-Sharif Afghans queue to vote at a polling station in Kabul Policeman stands guard outside a polling station in Kabul as Afghans wanting to vote queue outside before it opened Afghan presidential candidate Rassoul casts his vote in the presidential election in Kabul A policeman stands near a billboard for the presidential election at a checkpoint in Kabul Afghans wanting to vote begin to queue outside a polling station before it opened in Kabul An Afghan man walks from a voting booth after completing his ballot paper at a polling station in Kabul

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About Medborgarjournalist

This is an online umbrellalike network of blogs, which administrate by different bloggers in different places. The Main goal is to connect bloggers and build a network of web activist from different places to spread peace, prosperity and friendship.

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This entry was posted on April 5, 2014 by in my posts, ongoing conflicts.