Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig

About Thomas Ruttig

At the End of a Long Curve: The fall of Janikhel

The temporary capture of Janikhel district centre by Taleban forces in late July 2017 stands out in the relatively static, mountainous and geographically and tribally fractured region of eastern Paktia and Khost. There, most district centres continue to be in government hands, while many areas outside of them are more or less under Taleban control. […]

The ‘Ankara Coalition’: Opposition from within the government

Over the past two years, the National Unity Government (NUG) has been challenged by internal power struggles, protest movements and now an ‘opposition’ coalition made up of influential officials from within. It is the first time, however, that leaders of three mainstream political parties from three major ethnic groups have joined forces – at least […]

A Black Week in Kabul: Terror and protests

It has been an incredibly difficult week for Kabul. In four days, over a hundred people were killed and several hundreds injured – most of them in a massive terrorist attack in central Kabul on 31 May 2017. Two days later, as angry protests threatened to become violent, the police opened fire killing and injuring […]

Voluntary and Forced Returns to Afghanistan in 2016/17: Trends, statistics and experiences

While hundreds of thousands of Afghans sought protection in Europe throughout 2015/16, an increasing number have been returning to Afghanistan, both voluntarily and involuntarily. The number of voluntary returnees from Europe picked up significantly throughout 2016, with additional returns in the first four months of 2017, reaching a total figure of over 8,000. By contrast, […]

Afghan Exodus: Afghan asylum seekers in Europe (3) – case study Germany

Germany led in Europe in almost all categories of incoming refugees and asylum applications in 2015 and 2016, both in absolute and relative figures. Roughly six out of ten migrants who came to Europe ended up in Germany. Afghans were strongly represented in all those categories. This prompted the German government to change its 2015 […]

Afghan Exodus: Afghan asylum seekers in Europe (2) – the north-south divide

The situation and number of Afghan migrants in Europe differed from country to country in 2016. The division lay, roughly, along the Alps. To the south, the number of incoming migrants, though still high, dropped but requests for asylum continued to rise in some countries. Living conditions, meanwhile, deteriorated sharply. To the north, much fewer […]

Afghan Exodus: Afghan asylum seekers in Europe (1) – the changing situation

In 2016, Afghans remained the second-largest group both of migrants seeking protection in Europe and of those formally applying for asylum. Meanwhile, numbers of arrivals – both in general and in terms of Afghans – have dropped significantly, compared with the peak in late 2015, as European countries have since made getting, staying and integrating […]

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