64 see gossman p 263 65 see escola de cultura de pau

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64 See Gossman, p. 263. 65 See escola de cultura de pau, DDR 2008: Analysis of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programmes in the World during 2007, < 5i.pdf>, accessed on 20 December 2008. 66 See Payam Akhavan, “Beyond Impunity: Can International Criminal Justice Prevent Future Atrocities?”, The American Journal of International Law , vol.95, 2001, pp. 7-31.
Transitional Justice in the Afghan Peacebuilding Process 115 suitability for public employment”, which countries in transition from war to peace, from authoritarian to democratic regimes, often employ in order to mark a new beginning. 67 Transitional justice and vetting are directly connected when the record of past conduct, war crimes and human rights abuses is taken seriously in screening public employees or candidates for public employment. It is this function that the supporters of transitional justice particularly emphasise in the Afghan context. 68 Seeking accountability for past war crimes and abuses, if conducted successfully, can remove those criminals from their official positions. 69 Removing criminal leaders from high-ranking positions is critical for reforming and rebuilding government institutions, especially security sectors, such as police and military, and the judicial sector, which had been frequently used as an instrument of abuse and violence. This process is also crucial for regaining public trust in the new authority. In fact, in Afghanistan, some vetting processes were implemented following the suggestion of the AIHRC report. For example, vetting was designed to screen out certain candidates for the national assembly election held in September 2005. It was directly linked to transitional justice because those to be screened included those who “had been convicted of any crime, including a crime against humanity”. 70 However, strict vetting process was not implemented partly because vetting on the basis of human rights records was considered unconstitutional, 71 and partly because of the concern that those powerbrokers excluded from the elections would oppose the central government. As a result, a number of commanders associated with armed groups, those who belong to criminal gangs, as well as those who face serious allegations of war crimes and human rights violations, were elected as members of the parliament. This has been strongly damaging to the integrity and legitimacy of the government. The AIHRC report pointed out that Afghanistan suffers from “an almost total breakdown of trust in authority and public intuitions” because of the widespread and profound disappointment of the Afghan people in seeing that “Many persons who committed gross human rights violations remain in power today.” 72 Considering the fact that, together with security, the lack of legitimacy of the current government and its institutions in the eyes of the Afghan people has been highlighted as a serious problem in post-Taliban Afghanistan, the linkage between

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