War & Peace

Getting to the Steering Wheel: President Ghani’s new set of peace proposals

President Ashraf Ghani updated peace plan, presented at the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan on 28 November, the 13th international Afghanistan conference since 2001, built on the February 2018 Kabul Process proposals. Ghani foresees a five-phase approach to consultations and five years of implementation. At the same time, these proposals represent an attempt to reassert the Afghan government’s […]

Taleban Attacks on Khas Uruzgan, Jaghori and Malestan (II): A new and violent push into Hazara areas

The Taleban attacks on Hazara areas in Uruzgan and Ghazni were unprecedented in their reach and led to massive displacement. The attacks indicated a clear shift in the Taleban’s behaviour towards the Hazara areas, stimulating various hypotheses about their motives. In this second part of a series of two dispatches, AAN’s Ali Yawar Adili and […]

Taleban Attacks on Khas Uruzgan, Jaghori and Malestan (I): A new and violent push into Hazara areas

In late October 2018, the Taleban pushed deeper into Hazara areas than they had ever done before. They first pursued Hakim Shujai, a notorious former Afghan Local Police (ALP) commander, into Malestan, then launched an assault on the district of Jaghori and thereafter attacked Malestan’s district centre, almost resulting in its collapse. The attacks were […]

The Release of Mullah Baradar: A contribution to the peace effort?

The Taleban have confirmed to various media that Pakistan has released the most senior member of their movement in detention, Mullah Abdul Ghani, better known as Mullah Baradar (brother). He was arrested in 2010 and held ever since, apparently incommunicado and without charge or trial. Baradar was a founding member of the Taleban and a […]

The Killing of Razeq: Removing the Taleban’s strongest foe in Kandahar, an indirect hit at elections

An attack in Kandahar city has left the province’s governor, NDS chief and police commander, the unrivalled strongman of southern Afghanistan, General Abdul Razeq, dead. The commander of United States and NATO forces, General Scott Austin Miller who had just been meeting the three, was unharmed. The attack mimics earlier assassinations of officials and strongmen. […]

Before Ashura: Extra security measures in place for second year running

This year, the ten-day commemoration of Muharram by Afghanistan’s Shia Muslims follows a wave of bloody attacks directed against them, most claimed by the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP). In 2017, the government armed and paid guards at some mosques and other religious buildings in an attempt to thwart attacks. Those guards have stayed […]

New Confusion About ISKP: A case study from Sar-e Pul

After the defeat of a self-proclaimed ISKP group in Jawzjan in July 2018, focus has shifted to neighbouring Sar-e Pul. Russian media in particular have alleged that there are more pro-ISKP groups active in this province. AAN’s Obaid Ali (with inputs from Thomas Ruttig) has looked into Sar-e Pul’s insurgency landscape and found no indication […]

Hitting Gardez: A vicious attack on Paktia’s Shias

Afghan Shia Muslims are feeling increasingly beleaguered after two massacres targeting their community this month. Both were claimed by the Afghan ‘franchise’ of Daesh, the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP). On 3 August, gunmen killed at least 38 men and boys during Friday prayers at a village mosque in the outskirts of Gardez city. […]

Qari Hekmat’s Island Overrun: Taleban defeat ‘ISKP’ in Jawzjan

 The Taleban have eliminated the self-proclaimed Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) group that had been holding an enclave of territory in the isolated districts of Qush Tepa and Darzab in Jawzjan province for the last three years. It was the only ISKP-aligned group with territorial control outside the east of Afghanistan. The group failed to […]

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