Representatives of four Afghan rival factions signed an agreement on 5 December, creating an interim government to replace the Taliban regime. The interim administration will be headed by a Pashtun leader, Hamid Karzai, and will take power in Kabul on 22 December for a period of six months.
The 46 year old Karzai, a relative of the former king of Afghanistan, Zahir Shah, is considered widely acceptable to different factions in Afghanistan and the neighouring countries.
The interim administration will be dominated by members of the Northern Alliance, which currently controls Kabul.
The new administration has to be endorsed by the traditional assembly of tribal elders, theloya jirgaexpected to convene in the spring. The assembly will create a transitional government that will rule Afghanistan for up to two years, when elections are supposed to be held. A new constitution will be written by the transitional government. The assembly will also pick a head of state. That could be the former king, Zahir Shah, who remains popular in Afghanistan.
The UN Security Council is now expected to authorize an international security force for Kabul, as agreed between the Afghan factions. The force would be organised and led by Britain.