Dispatches

Afghanistan’s 2019 Elections (26): A Q&A about the ongoing election stalemate

The aftermath of Afghanistan’s 2019 presidential election has now dragged on for 72 days. The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has missed two dates for the announcement of preliminary results and is 50 days behind its original election timetable. The commission has not decided yet when it will announce the results. Meanwhile, the IEC’s audit and […]

Afghan Sportswomen: Courage, hurdles and harassment

Afghan sportswomen have become a symbol of change for many in Afghanistan, representing hope for a more egalitarian society with greater opportunities for girls and women. For others, they are a symbol of western imperialism that is bringing change and undermining Afghan society and culture, turning women away from their families and traditional roles. For […]

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (24): Disputed recount, threats not to accept results, and some interesting new data

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has overruled the demand by most of the presidential candidates to invalidate around 300,000 out of the 1.8 million votes (about 16 per cent) from the 28 September president election. Critics wanted these excluded before the IEC started auditing and recounting the votes from 8,255 ‘problematic’ polling stations. However, the […]

A Maelstrom of Militias: Takhar, a case study of strongmen co-opting the ALP

When the Ministry of Interior officials and human rights activists are asked where the worst Afghan Local Police (ALP) are, Takhar province is usually on the list. The reasons given are the enduring power of local strongmen over the force and the involvement of ALP units in crime, especially drug smuggling, and abuses of the […]

CIA-backed Afghan paramilitaries accused of grave abuses: new Human Rights Watch report

Human Rights Watch has released a hard-hitting report about CIA-backed Afghan paramilitaries which documents their alleged involvement in extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and attacks on medical facilities. The report also details changes in the United States targeting rules which, Human Rights Watch says, have led to indiscriminate airstrikes being called in by these forces, causing […]

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (22): Glances at Kunduz, Baghlan, Samangan

Kunduz, with its eponymous capital as the centre of one of the seven multi-province regions in Afghanistan (the northeast), had the lowest turnout of all Afghan provinces in the 28 September 2019 presidential election. This applies to  absolute and relative numbers – the latter a meagre 6.4 per cent. Baghlan had the second-lowest numbers. Bad […]

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