Dispatches

The disputed election of the Wolesi Jirga’s speaker: A story of a balance of power, political allegiance and money

The Wolesi Jirga – the lower house of Afghanistan’s parliament – has, at last, been able to elect its speaker and the rest of its administrative board. This took place more than two months after the house was inaugurated and following several weeks of controversy that followed an extremely close and disputed run-off in the […]

Beginning of a New Era at the AIHRC: Nine fresh commissioners

The National Unity Government has finally, after 13 painful months mulling the matter over, appointed nine new commissioners to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). The new chair is Shaharzad Akbar, a well-known human rights activist, who has served as a deputy at the National Security Council on peace, protection of civilians and fallen […]

The Two Faces of the Fatemiyun (II): The women behind the fighters

Existing studies on the Fatemiyun have focused on the Afghan men fighting for the Iran-backed government in Syria. The women behind the fighters – wives, mothers and sisters – have remained invisible, despite the fact that many fighters decided to go to Syria with family concerns in mind. Based on interviews with ten women in […]

AAN Q&A: What came out of the Doha intra-Afghan conference?

Representatives of Afghanistan’s warring parties and civil society met at a peace conference in Qatar’s capital Doha on 7-8 July 2019. They all participated ‘in their personal capacities’ in order to circumvent the Taleban’s rejection of direct talks with the Afghan government. The conference that took place behind closed doors ended with a joint final […]

The Two Faces of the Fatemiyun (I): Revisiting the male fighters

Over the last eight years, thousands of Afghan men and some boys have fought on the side of the Iran-supported Assad government in Syria as members of the Fatemiyun group. Although they are sent to Syria from Iran and supported by the Iranian government, Tehran describes the group as “self-motivated.” This dispatch, which is the […]

Before Doha 7: Afghanistan peace efforts recovering from a lull?

The seventh round of United States-Taleban talks in Doha is imminent. But US-Taleban negotiations in Doha for a negotiated solution to the Afghan war have been stalling in recent rounds, after some initial progress. So far they also still exclude the third key actor, the Afghan government. Parties in the so-called intra-Afghan dialogue have also […]

Afghanistan’s 2019 Elections (5): Slow preparations for a high-stake election

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has announced the new electoral calendar and started a 22-day top up voter registration process across Afghanistan. The announcement of the electoral calendar involved several key decisions, including that the IEC will hold only the presidential vote on 28 September 2019, that it will not change the electoral system ahead […]

One Land, Two Rules (7): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Andar district in Ghazni province

Andar district in southern Ghazni province, which has had a shadow Taleban administration since 2007, has been under virtually complete Taleban control since October 2018. The Afghan government continues to provide education and health services despite the fact that all of Andar’s government offices have relocated to Ghazni city, while the Taleban supervise their work. […]

Eid al-Fitr Mubarak from AAN to All Our Readers

Eid al-Fitr Mubarak! The AAN team would like to wish a happy and peaceful Eid al-Fitr to friends and readers, to all Muslims around the world and particularly the people of Afghanistan. We hope the coming days of Eid bring happiness and joy to all. AAN hopes Afghans can celebrate this Eid as peacefully as […]

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