Author Archives: Martine van Bijlert

About Martine van Bijlert

Update on Afghanistan’s Electoral Process: Electoral deadlock broken – for now

Afghanistan’s electoral reform process, a major part of the National Unity Government’s programme, has been slow and painful with its high stakes and divided government positions. But over the last few months two significant hurdles have been taken: the new electoral law has finally been passed, and the new electoral commissions have been appointed. Although […]

Afghan Exodus: Notes from a Belgrade squat

The number of migrants, many of them Afghan, in Serbia has been steadily growing in the second half of 2016. More people continue to arrive, while departures have largely stagnated due to Hungary and Croatia tightening their border controls. As a result, Serbia is faced with a growing number of people on its soil who […]

Afghanistan’s National Unity Government Rift (1): Crisis averted (for now), back to appointing commissions

Just weeks before the upcoming donor conference in Brussels on 5 October 2016, the two leaders of Afghanistan’s National Unity Government (NUG) erupted into a fierce, public argument. Chief Executive Abdullah accused President Ghani of unilateralism and called him “unfit” for his office; the president hit back implying that the rival camp was merely trying […]

Afghan Exodus: In transit through Serbia

The unprecedented flow of people through the Western Balkans in late 2015 and early 2016, and the opening of a humanitarian corridor, provided a brief and unique opportunity for people from war-torn countries to reach the European Union. When the corridor closed in March 2016 many people, including many Afghans, found themselves stranded and, again, […]

Afghan Exodus: The opening and closing of the Balkan corridor

In late 2015 and early 2016, the Western Balkans witnessed an unprecedented flow of people through its borders on their way to Europe. For several months a ‘humanitarian corridor’ provided certain nationalities, including Afghans, with transportation to the outer fringes of the European Union. However, Afghans trying to reach Europe now once again find themselves […]

Pushing the Parliament to Accept a Decree: Another Election without Reform?

Afghanistan’s electoral reform process, that was supposed to be a precondition for the next ballot, has been excruciatingly slow and has culminated in a watered-down version of its original mandate. The delays mean that it has by now become practically impossible to hold elections this year. The presidential palace, however, continues to insist that both elections […]

When The Political Agreement Runs Out: On the future of Afghanistan’s National Unity Government

The National Unity Government (NUG), which was created to solve the impasse caused by the bitterly disputed 2014 presidential elections, has come under intense criticism for a wide range of real and perceived failures. Its position has also been called into question by uncertainty over whether, based on the text of the political agreement, its […]

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