Author Archives: Kate Clark

About Kate Clark

Elections 2014 (53): Ghani sworn in as Afghanistan’s new president

Afghanistan finally has a new president – and a chief executive officer (CEO). Ashraf Ghani’s first act after being sworn in was to sign a decree establishing the new position of CEO and then appointing to it his bitter election rival and now partner in government, Abdullah Abdullah, who was thereby enabled to also take […]

Karzai struggles against foreign detentions – state releases Taleban?

In the last weeks of his presidency, President Hamed Karzai has again been trying to eradicate the last traces of foreign involvement in detentions, sending a commission to investigate the so-called Tor Jail, an American interrogation facility on Bagram airbase, and reactivating the Afghan Review Board, which had been sifting detainees transferred by the US […]

Elections 2014 (51): Finally, a deal, but not yet democracy

After more than three months of audits and behind-the-scenes negotiation, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah signed a deal today to set up a government of national unity. The election ‘result’ was announced a couple of hours later, but the Independent Election Commission (IEC) declined to give any figures. It had been clear, all along, that […]

Elections 2014 (49): Still deadlock, make or break

It has become difficult to write about the Afghan elections, not because nothing happens, but because it rarely amounts to anything significant enough to move things on. There are talks between the candidates, press conferences with little news, an audit nearing completion, phone calls from the American president, rumours and unease. The optimism of the […]

The ‘Other Guantanamo’ (8): A full list of foreign detainees at Bagram?

 The United States military has always been highly secretive about the men it holds at the detention centre on Bagram airbase, only ever releasing one list of names – in February 2009, following a Freedom of Information request. AAN’s Kate Clark has been going through various sources of information and has put together what may […]

2014 Elections (42): Audit stopped, re-started, UN intervenes

There have been days of futile negotiations between the technical teams of the two presidential election candidates over the nature of the ‘invalidation’ criteria – the rules for deciding what to do with votes deemed suspicious in the audit of the 14 June second round of the presidential vote. Now, the United Nations has stepped in […]

Elections 2014 (41): Audit started, rules as yet unclear

The audit of all of the votes cast in Afghanistan’s presidential election run-off has begun at the headquarters of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on the outskirts of Kabul on 17 July. Thirty teams of IEC staff (to be raised eventually to one hundred) checked just one ballot box each, overseen by candidates’ agents, observers […]

Elections 2014 (39): Has Kerry saved the day?

The full, 100 per cent audit decided on in the ‘Kerry agreement,’ reached late on 12 July 2014, will start tomorrow. It will be the first step in trying to steer Afghanistan out of its presidential elections crisis. The two candidates, Dr Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani both agreed to abide by the results, with the […]

“A Dangerous New Turn”: UNAMA reports a sharp rise in civilian casualties

For the first time since UNAMA started documenting civilian casualties in 2009, more civilians have been killed in ground fighting than from any other tactic. In its six monthly report on the protection of civilians, it reported “a direct correlation” in some areas between the closures of international bases and a rise in civilian casualties, […]

Elections 2014 (37): Preliminary results before agreement on auditing

The Independent Elections Commission (IEC) has announced preliminary results for the presidential run-off, today, 7 July 2014. The ‘raw’ votes, (largely before fraud has been taken into account) give a turnout of almost 8 million, with Ashraf Ghani getting 56 per cent of the vote and Abdullah Abdullah 43 per cent. For the last few […]

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