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Yearbook 2005

Afghanistan. While Afghanistan went politically in the right direction in 2005, the security situation deteriorated significantly. The country seemed to consist of two unrelated realities. In September, general elections were held for a new parliament and local councils in the 34 provinces. As no party lists existed, there was great uncertainty about what many of the approximately 5,800 candidates stood for. There were strong suspicions that several of those elected to the various congregations were connected to militias or narcotics. According to countryaah, the absence of party groupings was also feared to lead to fragmented and difficult-to-manage congregations. One positive side of the election process was that women were guaranteed just over a quarter of the seats and that more than that were elected by their own power. Earlier this year, Habiba Sarabi had written history by becoming Afghanistan's first female provincial chief when she was appointed governor of Bamian. However, the interest in the election was rather weak; only about 53% of voters participated. The election process ended in November when the 34 provincial assemblies appointed members of a newly created Senate.

2005 Afghanistan

2005 AfghanistanIn April, the government presented a budget that was financed by foreign aid to 9%. Of that proportion, about 75% were completely controlled by foreign organizations. The government requested, until now in vain, that a larger part of the development projects should be handled by domestic companies, as several foreign organizations were suspected of engaging in unfair competition by virtue of tax and duty exemption.

The United States and other Western countries have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the fight against drugs. The cultivated area for opium also declined by close to one-fifth, but due to favorable weather conditions, production decreased by only a few percent.

On a visit to Washington in May, President Hamid Karzai signed a "strategic partnership" agreement, which secured the United States long-term control over a number of Afghan military bases and free hands to wage the "war on terror" at its discretion. Karzai's request that the US troops be placed under Afghan command was resolutely rejected. Despite the government's close ties to the United States, no warmer feelings toward Americans prevailed among the population. That two American soldiers escaped with 2-3 months imprisonment for the mistreatment of two arrested Afghans caused anger, as well as information on violations of the Koran at the US Guant芍namo base in Cuba. The opposition to the United States prompted President Karzai to appeal for fewer bombs and house searches in the search for terrorists.

During the year, Taliban and other resistance movements were increasingly successful in their attacks and also carried out several suicide attacks. The year became the bloodiest since 2001 with over 1,400 deaths, of which about 90 are Americans.

The NATO-led international peacekeeping force ISAF decided to expand its force and take over some of the tasks from the United States, so that the US troops could concentrate more on the terrorist hunt. Among other things, ISAF was expected to expand its operations to several provinces in the south. Sweden also took on a greater burden. Sweden takes over the command of the ISAF company in Mazar-e Sharif in early 2006, expanding its squad from about 90 men to nearly 200, with the possibility of further reinforcement. The Swedish effort came in the eye of the public in November, when two Swedish soldiers were killed in a blast attack in Mazar-e Sharif.

In November, Afghanistan joined the South Asian Cooperation Organization SAARC.

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