Afghan Warlords Form Political Party

Afghan activists hold up posters and placards of political leaders during a demonstration in Kabul Stadium on February 23, 2007. Some 25,000 supporters of former Afghan warlords crowded into the stadium in the Afghan capital in a noisy show of support for a controversial bill that would give their leaders amnesty for war crimes. Supporters from across the country held up posters of leaders of the resistance to the 1980s Soviet occupation and chanted “Long live the mujahedin (holy fighters)” and “God is great”. (Hindustan)

Afghan warlords formed a political party it was announced last month:

Commanders from the anti-Soviet resistance, ex-Communist leaders and other strongmen from Afghanistan’s decades of war are banding together in a political group, spokesmen said yesterday.

The multi-ethnic United National Front, still to be formally launched, “is to fill the vacuum for a powerful, strong and broad-based political party,” spokesman Mustafa Kazimi told reporters.

“We have had lots of political parties emerging over the past five years but they’ve had no major achievements.”

The front includes leaders of the fight against the 1979-1989 Soviet occupation, often called warlords, who turned on each other in the 1992-1996 civil war that was fought for power along ethnic lines.

Kazimi, himself a resistance commander, described the new political group as a “reform-seeking formation comprised of different political and ethnic groups as well as key political figures.”

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