Elections 2014 (4): The election day in snapshots from the provinces

How did election day go? After a first collection of voices from the provinces on the day before the vote (read here), we continued to hear from our friends and from journalists, civil society activists and government officials across the country. We asked them to describe what they saw in terms of voter turnout, atmosphere, fraud – [...]

Rallies, Debate, Rain and Snow: The 2014 presidential election campaign starts

The Afghan presidential election campaign has kicked off – two months before polling day. Candidates are showing a range of attitudes, from launching big, brash public rallies to a rather desultory ‘we start tomorrow’ attitude. With no evident frontrunner, it seems the campaign will involve a real attempt to win over voters and will be [...]

Kampf der Zahlen

Frankfurter Allgemeine, 15 January 2014 The German daily reports that the Bundeswehr has started giving figures about security incidents in northern Afghanistan again, and it turns out that there was drastic increase in 2013 by November (35% over all of 2012), contradicting the government's claim that the security situation has improved there.

Afghanistan: Sicherheitslücke

Tagesspiegel (Berlin, online), 7 January 2014 Reporting that the German ISAF forces had stopped reporting the number of insurgent attacks in northern Afghanistan, the Berlin-based daily asked AAN's Thomas Ruttig for his assessment. Saying that the argument the Afghan forces were in the lead now and needed to take over the reporting sounded like a pretext. "ISAF [...]

Afghanistan-Experte fordert deutschen Neuanfang am Hindukusch

DTS/Berliner Umschau, 23 December 2013 The German news agency published a short summary of an interview with AAN's Thomas Ruttig published by daily Frankfurtter Rundschau in which he criticised new German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen with visiting German soldiers in Afghanistan but not meeting any of her Afghan counterparts.

Silk Road jewel reveals more of its treasures

BBC, 20 October 2013 Balkh province in northern Afghanistan is home to some of the most significant historical sites in the world – its ancient city was even known as the mother of all cities. More than a decade after her first visit, Lynne O'Donnell returns with a group of archaeologists, trying to uncover more [...]

Who’s Stealing Afghanistan’s Cultural Treasures?

National Geographic, 1 August 2013 “Afghanistan is rapidly losing its heritage on a vast scale”, Philippe Marquis, the director of DAFA, the French archaeological delegation in Afghanistan, is quoted in this report about the increased, organised looting of the country’s archaeological artefacts. “I would say that 99 percent of the archaeological sites in Afghanistan have [...]

Afghan University Poll Angers Officials

IWPR, 22 June 2012 An opinion poll conducted by the Civil Society and Human Rights Network, a coalition of rights groups, and the Future for Afghanistan Children Organisation, at Balkh University in Mazar-e Sharif has sparked controversy by revealing criticism of lecturers for ‘irresponsible’ and ‘discriminatory’ behaviour and corruption. Provincial governor Atta called for those [...]

One Year of Transition: A Look Back (1)

The second phase of transition, which was announced on 27 November 2011, is drawing to a close after a long winter, and after a turbulent few weeks that have refocused attention on the fall-out over the ongoing conflict. Many more areas of Afghanistan have witnessed an official transfer of security, while information about the third [...]

Local Officials Play Truant in Afghan North

IWPR, 15 February 2012 An investigation of the Kabul-based journalists organisation finds that in Balkh province, 12 out of the 15 sub-governors rarely appeared at their workplaces in 2011 between March and August, even though Balkh is considered one of the safest provinces in Afghanistan.

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