War & Peace

Women and Afghan Peace Talks: ‘Peace consensus’ gathering left Afghan women without reassurance

One of the recurrent themes around the US-Taleban negotiations to end the Afghan war (so far without participation of the Afghan government) is the demand of Afghan women for “meaningfully participation” in the preparations for inclusive peace talks. This expectation also figured at a national consensus gathering (ejma) in Kabul in late February this year. […]

Record Numbers of Civilian Casualties Overall, from Suicide Attacks and Air Strikes: UNAMA reports on the conflict in 2018

The downturn in civilian casualties recorded in 2017 has reversed. UNAMA, in its 2018 Annual Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Afghanistan, released today, records almost 11,000 civilians injured or killed in 2018, a five per cent increase compared to 2017. It is the highest number of civilian casualties on record. […]

“Faint lights twinkling against the dark”: Reportage from the fight against ISKP in Nangrahar

It has been almost four years since the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) captured territory in southern Nangrahar province, where it ruled with extreme brutality, and nearly two years since the United States military and Afghan government forces began concertedly fighting the group there. (The Taleban, too, have fought ISKP sporadically.) The last commander of […]

Khost Protection Force Accused of Fresh Killings: Six men shot dead in Zurmat

There has been a fresh attack on civilians by armed men whom the victims’ family and the Paktia provincial governor’s spokesman have said were from the Khost Protection Force, an irregular militia supported by the CIA. A survivor of the attack carried out in Surkai village in Zurmat district, in Paktia province, described to AAN […]

The Afghan Territorial Force: Learning from the lessons of the past?

A new local defence force is being mobilised in Afghanistan. The establishment of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force was announced by President Ashraf Ghani in April 2018. Careful consideration has gone into its design, with safeguards built in to try to avoid the pitfalls associated with previous locally-recruited forces, such as the Afghan Local […]

Unheeded Warnings (2): Ghazni city as vulnerable to Taleban as before

The Taleban may have been pushed back out of Ghazni city after their five-day siege in August, but they have continued to expand into new territory around the city. They now have full control of eight districts in Ghazni province. They control the Ghazni-Paktika highway and continue to put pressure on the Kabul-Kandahar highway. In […]

Unheeded Warnings (1): Looking back at the Taleban attack on Ghazni

Four months after the Taleban captured large parts of the strategic and historic city of Ghazni during a five-day siege in August 2018, local people live in fear of a new onslaught. While the Taleban were ultimately pushed out – or withdrew – from the city, they remain in the suburbs and have extended their […]

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