War & Peace

Bad Lieutenants in Nimruz

Nimruz lies at one of the forgotten edges of Afghanistan, so forgotten that it is possibly the province generating the lowest amount of news per square kilometre. A most brutal and brazen episode of violence involving the police there offers AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini the occasion to report on the province and its main feature – […]

Flash from the Past: Taleban Independence Day 2001 (now with video) (2)

This is a follow-up to Kate Clark’s blog describing how Afghan Independence Days were celebrated during the Taleban rule. In 2001, the Taleban indeed organised some events in order to give Kabulis, who had not experienced much of this under their rule, a rare day of joy, with a small festival, students’ parades, exhibitions and […]

Conflict going East, conflict going on

The US-led Coalition has declared that its troops’ new strategic focus will be on eastern Afghanistan, after its claims of gains made in southern Afghanistan last year. Although the bad security situation in the East is not new, the recent emphasis on it may be mainly linked to the increased interest (and concern) of the […]

Ten Killed in Badakhshan: One year on

A year ago today, in one of the worst attacks on humanitarian workers of the war, ten medical workers and their support staff were murdered in Badakhshan. They had just trekked across 5000m passes to one of the remotest areas of the country: the Parun valley of Nuristan to give out free eye care, dental […]

Guest blog: Being a journalist in Uruzgan

Martin Gerner, a freelance correspondent in Afghanistan for German radio and national print media, has been training and mentoring Afghan journalists since 2004. One such training course took place only few weeks ago with a group of journalists from Tirinkot. The then BBC/Pajhwok stringer, Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak, had actively helped to bring the training group […]

Killings keep leaders at home

The goal of the attack on Tirinkot on 31 July, said the Taleban spokesman, Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, was ‘to make the government collapse.’ Those actually killed by the Taleban were not ‘the government’ but mainly civilians, including three women and the BBC/Pajhwok journalist, Ahmed Omaid Khpalwak. But the attack could easily have resulted in the […]

ALP programme might create a rude Afghan awakening

Is the new Afghan Local Police one of the new silver bullets for successful transition or just a new militia? General Petraeus who designed the programme (after a similar one in Iraq) claims the first while some media already see abuses, as signs for the latter. But until recently, reports about such ‘ALP abuses’ were […]

Death of an Uruzgan Journalist

Last Thursday, 28 July, the capital of the southern province of Uruzgan saw the most devastating Taleban attack so far this year. Although it did not achieve its declared aim, to kill local strongmen Matiullah, and the far less influential governor Omar Sherzad and his deputy Khodai Rahim, a lot of civilians were killed. Susanne […]

Women and Reconciliation: What are the Concerns?

Peace is not made with friends, it is made with enemies. Peace deals are then about finding a minimum common ground and making compromises: It comes at a cost, but the price is not necessarily equal for everybody. Sari Kouvo, AAN Senior Analyst, discusses some of the key themes that came up in her meetings […]

Civilian Casualties 2: Taleban claims to protect civilians laid bare

Accusations against the Taleban are becoming more pointed: their indiscriminate use of IEDs is a war crime, said UNAMA in its most recent mid-year report on civilian casualties, as well as violating a ban on land-mines made by Mulla Omar in 1998. The Taleban continues to insist its hands are clean, but, as AAN Senior […]

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