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Afghanistan

Border countries: China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

Afghanistan is involved in non-international armed conflicts against the Taliban, the Khorasan Branch of the Islamic State group and other armed groups on its territory. It is supported by the United States.

Since the Soviet invasion of 1979, Afghanistan has been mired in almost perpetual armed conflict. For an overview of the history of the conflicts in Afghanistan, see A. Bellal, The War Report. Armed Conflicts in 2016, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, March 2017, p 52ff. The non-international armed conflict against the Taliban and other armed groups has been going on for several years. In 2015, the Khorasan branch of the Islam State group (IS-K) emerged as a new armed group opposing the government of Afghanistan. Afghanistan is supported by the United States of America in its fight against the Taliban, IS-K and other armed groups.

The relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan is tense, with both countries accusing each other of providing safe haven to armed groups and fostering violence in the neighbouring country. See for example their statements to the Security Council in March and June 2017: 7896th meeting of the Security Council, 10 March 2017, UN doc S/PV:7896, pp 7-8 (Afghanistan) and 25 (Pakistan) and 7980th meeting of the Security Council, 21 June 2017, UN doc S/PV.7980, p 5 (Afghanistan). The non-international armed conflicts in Pakistan and Afghanistan have both spilled over across the frontiers between the countries. Repeatedly, there have been border skirmishes and cross frontier incursions by the armed forces of Afghanistan and Pakistan, leading to a series of short-lived international armed conflicts. See for example ‘Clash Erupts on Afghan-Pakistan Border,’ BBC, 5 May 2017. In 2017, Afghanistan repeatedly complained to the Security Council about Pakistani cross-frontier violations, see 7896th meeting of the Security Council, 10 March 2017, UN doc S/PV:7896, pp 7-8; 7980th meeting of the Security Council, 21 June 2017, UN doc S/PV.7980, p 5.

Last updated: Wednesday 6th September 2017