Dispatches

The Battle for Mamand: ISKP under strain, but not yet defeated 

In recent weeks, the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) has lost a significant part of its stronghold in Nangrahar as well as several senior commanders and its overall leader, Sheikh Abdul Hasib. Its losses have been mounting steadily since early April when American and Afghan special forces intensified their campaign against the group. This included […]

Voluntary and Forced Returns to Afghanistan in 2016/17: Trends, statistics and experiences

While hundreds of thousands of Afghans sought protection in Europe throughout 2015/16, an increasing number have been returning to Afghanistan, both voluntarily and involuntarily. The number of voluntary returnees from Europe picked up significantly throughout 2016, with additional returns in the first four months of 2017, reaching a total figure of over 8,000. By contrast, […]

Hekmatyar’s Return to Kabul: Background reading by AAN

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the notorious leader of Hezb-e Islami, returned to Kabul today. After several years of on-and-off talks, between the Afghan government and envoys of the party’s leader-in-hiding, a deal allowing his return was finally signed in September 2016. Several months of negotiations on the finer details of the deal’s implementation followed. An overview of AAN’s past […]

Afghanistan’s Record on Torture to Come under UN Scrutiny

On 25 and 26 April 2017, Afghanistan’s record on torture will be reviewed by a committee of experts under the auspices of the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The CAT Committee will hear from the government, United Nations human rights officials and NGOs before making recommendations. In the weeks leading up to the committee meeting, the government […]

Moving Out of Shamshatu: Hezb-e Islami’s refugee followers between hope of return and doubts about the peace deal

Shamshatu refugee camp, headquarters of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e Islami in Pakistan since the 1980s, is increasingly empty. Many residents, including a number of important Hezb leaders, have left for Afghanistan, encouraged to return by the peace agreement signed by Hekmatyar and President Ashraf Ghani in September 2016. The deal paved the way for the return […]

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