AFGHANISTAN. Kabul Province. Kabul. 1994. People move from one side of the city to another, as violence erupts between different political factions following the collapse of the communist regime.
After the end of Najibullah’s government, all Afghan parties minus Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e Islami signed a power-sharing agreement called the Peshawar Accord (1992), under which they united into a transitional government charged to lead the country until general elections. ISI-supported Hekmatyar, despite being offered the post of PM, began a bombardment campaign against Kabul in the hope of becoming the sole ruler of Afghanistan. From then, the country rapidly descended into civil war, with different factions all vying for power. Groups were aligned along ethnic, sectarian, political and different foreign power backing lines.
Kabul became the playground between the various factions implicated in the war for four years (1992-1996), until it was captured by the Taliban. Most of the city was controlled by the forces of Ahmad Shah Massoud with Hekmatyar’s and later Dostum’s forces laying siege (Dostum was an ethnic Uzbek warlord and serves currently as the country’s VP). All groups committed numerous atrocities, but Hekmatyar’s and his allies’ were particularly pronounced. He gained the nickname “the Butcher of Kabul”.
More than 30,000 people died in Kabul during the 92-96 period, the vast majority of them civilians.
Photograph: Eric Bouvet/VII Network