“As Easy As Growing Potatoes”: How formerly ‘poppy-free’ Ghor is at risk of becoming an important player in Afghanistan’s opium business

Ghor province has been considered poppy-free for a long time, but in the past two years opium production and drug trafficking have picked up sharply. With insecurity in the province on the rise, obstructing income sources and basic services, many of Ghor’s farmers migrated to neighbouring provinces like Helmand, helping in the local drug production [...]

The rise and fall of an Afghan strongman

al-Jazeera, 6 September 2013 Based on his extensive reporting on Ghor province, one of the poorest in Afghanistan, this is Obaid Ali's first article for the Qatar-based outlet, looking inti Ghor's education system and the influence of local commanders on it.

Pupils as Pawns: Plundered education in Ghor

Empty classrooms, fake girls’ schools, teachers’ salaries siphoned off by warlords: in Ghor province in Afghanistan’s west, the shadows of strongmen loom large and schools, too, have become pawns in the power struggle between rival factions. AAN’s Obaid Ali has visited this remote, poor and conflict-ridden province and – in this second of three dispatches [...]

A Slow Start: Afghan voter registration in urban centres first

On 25 May 2013, voter registration for the 2014 presidential election officially kicked off throughout Afghanistan. Female registration has been slow, even though the process is for the moment limited to the provincial capitals. Also general turn-out has been quite low and the process has proven to be cumbersome. It is however still very early [...]

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 [...]

Ghor Warlords Accused of Abusing Women

IWPR, 17 March 2011 IWPR has gathered evidence from provincial government officials, police and residents of Ghor, who report that numerous grave human rights abuses are being committed by militia forces which in theory are not even supposed to exist any more – a tell-tale story about the ‘success’ of the Disbandment of Illegal Armed [...]

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