Afghanistan: NPWJ organises a conflict mapping workshop for the afghan independent human rights commission

Kabul, 23 January 2009

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) today began a 7-day mission to Afghanistan on the issue of transitional justice, including the organisation of a Training Workshop in Kabul on Conflict Mapping for the staff of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) from 24 to 29 January 2009. The scope of the workshop is to undertake an assessment of the conflict mapping work undertaken by the AIHRC since the previous training courses organised by NPWJ in December 2005 and July 2007 and to provide a refresher course on analysis of the information gathered so far.
The training takes place in the context of the Afghan Plan of Action for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation, which was adopted by the Afghan Government on Monday, 12 December 2005, and which calls for the gathering and analysis of information related to the conflicts in Afghanistan from 1978 to 2001. This documentation process serves several ends, including establishing an historical record, ascertaining the role of those who bear the greatest responsibility for human rights violations and violations of the laws of war committed during that time and, eventually, informing the work of any accountability mechanisms that may be set up for Afghanistan. 
Over the past four years, NPWJ has worked with the AIHRC in the design and implementation of the AIHRC Conflict Mapping Program, equipping them with the basic methodological skills necessary to the effective management and analysis of the data once it has been gathered, with a view to identifying those who bear the greatest responsibility for the crimes committed in Afghanistan as a whole. Over the course of the next week, NPWJ experts will provide staff of the AIHRC with additional training on how to undertake effective factual and legal analysis of information they have gathered during their conflict mapping program and will work with the AIHRC on their next steps, to bring the program to completion.
NPWJ will also focus on effective outreach strategies concerning all areas of AIHRC’s Conflict Mapping Program, especially in light of the current (and changing) circumstances in relation to transitional justice, including developments concerning the amnesty law. The AIHRC’s ongoing outreach work is critical to the success of the conflict mapping program as a whole, particularly in terms of the people of Afghanistan feeling part of the work and to maximise the ability of the work itself to act as an accountability process, as well as fostering cooperation with civil society and government and reducing direct security threats to the staff of the AIHRC.
Conflict Mapping aims to reconstruct the chain of events through the collection of information and the analysis of orders of battle and command structures of the various armed forces as they develop over space and time in the theatre of operations. The purpose of this reconstruction is to provide an initial indication, based on events on the ground, of which policy decisions were taken, in which moments, and at what levels, of each of the armed forces or groups on the ground.
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For further information, contact Alison Smith on or +32-2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini on org +32-2-548-3913.