Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig

About Thomas Ruttig

The upcoming jirga: an agenda with possible backdoors

Less than two weeks to go to the opening of the long-awaited Traditional Loya Jirga. This meeting of 2030 delegates from all 34 provinces will discuss the strategic US-Afghan agreement and the future approach to reconciliation with the Taleban. About the rest – from its composition to its exact agenda and its authority – there […]

Right and Justice Party launched, as ‘reformist opposition’

This is the most serious addition to Afghanistan’s political party scene since years: After 14 months of preparations and a two-day conference of its 420 founders on Tuesday and Wednesday, Hezb-e Haq wa Edalat (Right and Justice Party) officially ‘declared its existence’, as you do such things in Afghanistan, today, 3 November, in Kabul. With […]

Jamiat after Rabbani: The competition for the top job

The murder of Ustad Rabbani also made one of Afghanistan’s oldest parties, Jamiat-e Islami, leaderless. For more than three and half decades, the Ustad had stood at its top. His killing came as the party had started considering internal reforms. This process has now accelerated, pushed by the need to fill the party’s top vacancy. […]

BREAKING NEWS: Double Rainbow over Kabul

Rain in Kabul is always good news. But it also has an aesthetic component: Before the backdrop of the mountains around the city, it creates the most beautiful rainbows. This inspired AAN’s Thomas Ruttig and Fabrizio Foschini to muse about a few rain-related issues. The heavy shower that went down over Afghanistan’s usually dust-covered capital […]

Nobel Peace Prize: Not Sima, Again

Congratulations to Tawakul Karman from Yemen and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee from Liberia for this year’s Nobel Peace Price. The citation given by the Swedish committee that awards the prize is also to the point: it was given for the three laureats’ ‘non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights […]

Ten Years After – or: My Former Cleaner’s Beard

Ten years ago today, the first bombs were dropped over Afghanistan. Most Kabulis welcomed them and even applauded when houses of certain Taleban ‘guests’ were hit. They were really tired of living as international pariahs and under a leader who’s face was unknown and who only recommended prayer to overcome social problems, leaving the real […]

Women’s Rights after 2001: Progress, but much of it on paper only

Ten years ago on 7 October, the first US bombs fell on Afghanistan – the ouverture to the US-led international intervention on Afghanistan. Thomas Ruttig, an AAN Senior Analyst, interviewed AIHRC commissioner Dr Soraya Rahim Sobhrang* to get her view on the balance of this intervention, with a particular focus on women’s rights. AAN: When […]

AAN reads: Junger’s ‘War’

When I read one of the first reportages coming out from the Korengal, not by Sebastian Junger, in early 2008*, my first association was Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Apocalypse Now’. Later, the first video clips came out that even aggravated this impression. Now the full book is out, and it is as powerful as Norman Mailer’s […]

The Great Hindukush Gold Rush (2): Afghanistan is not Chad (yet?)

There is plenty of evidence from all over the world that indicates that mineral wealth can easily turn into a curse – environmentally, socially, politically and even economically. It also can exacerbate conflict, instead of alleviating it. A particular example is the Central African country of Chad*, and it should warn both the Afghan government […]

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