Dispatches

Filling NUG Vacancies: Parliament to vote on Interior Minister and Attorney General

With two international conferences that will decide about future support levels for Afghanistan at the horizon, and a surprisingly high number of key positions still held by caretakers or politically vulnerable individuals, the NUG has moved to fill two posts that are central to the government’s key undertakings: Interior Minister, which plays an important role […]

Afghanistan’s Returning Refugees: Why are so many still landless?

More than 5.8 million Afghans, about 20 per cent of Afghanistan’s population, are refugees who have returned home since the fall of the Taleban according to UNHCR figures. Many found their houses destroyed or occupied, or discovered that a new set of laws had scrapped their tenancy rights. The government plan for distributing land to […]

Happy Nawruz! A blessed year 1395 to our readers

Dear readers and friends, the AAN team wishes you a blessed, healthy and hopefully more peaceful Afghan year 1395. This year spring has come early and many trees are already in full bloom. But this is no reason to abandon the tradition of getting some pink tulips from the north, Afghanistan’s new year flowers, to mark the beginning […]

Afghanistan in World Literature (IV): Weird Tales from the Frontier

Throughout the last couple of centuries, the way foreign authors, both novelists and scholars, have portrayed Afghans has had an impact on how Afghanistan itself is perceived. One such writer, a bestseller in his day, although now less well known, is the 1920s-30s fantasy and adventure writer, Robert E Howard. His novels stand out, says […]

Clinics under fire? Health workers caught up in the Afghan conflict

Those providing health care in contested areas in Afghanistan say they are feeling under increasing pressure from all sides in the war. There have been two egregious attacks on medical facilities in the last six months: the summary execution of two patients and a carer taken from a clinic in Wardak by Afghan special forces in […]

Helmand (2): The chain of chiefdoms unravels

In Helmand in the second half of 2015, the ‘dominos’ started to fall, with successive areas of the province coming under Taleban control. During the United States surge, a line of ‘chiefdoms’ was created, where Afghan National Police (ANP), Afghan Local Police (ALP) and militia commanders managed to consolidate control of local areas. In 2015, […]

Helmand (1): A crisis a long time coming

The rapid fall of entire areas of Helmand to the Taleban during the second half of 2015 and early 2016 has left the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) scrambling to hold the line and try to push back, and led to international forces deploying troops to the province. Guest author Rahmatullah Amiri* brings a special […]

The ANSF’s Zurmat Operation: Abuses against local civilians

In early January 2016, an Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) operation in Zurmat, a southern district of Paktia province, resulted in civilian casualties. According to local residents, the Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers’ heavy shelling of villages they suspected to be Taleban hideouts caused the most harm. Abuses, such as beatings and the use of […]

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