Dispatches

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 […]

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (21): BVV devices and a delay in announcing preliminary results

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has completed the transfer of data from the biometric devices to its central server. Those 1,932,673 votes now need to be gone through using a verification process to weed out duplicate, underage and ‘photo-proxy’ votes. Only then, will the IEC know the final number of biometrically-validated votes. It has also, […]

Afghanistan’s 2019 election (18): How the people of Bamyan, Daikundi and Lal wa Sarjangal voted

The election in the largely Hazara provinces of Bamyan and Daikundi and Lal wa Sarjangal district of Ghor province went relatively smoothly, albeit with two technical problems that were ubiquitous – slow and (temporarily) malfunctioning Biometric Voter Verification (BVV) devices and disturbing instances of voters being turned away because their names were not on the […]

New UNAMA Civilian Causalities Report: US targeting of alleged drug labs goes against international humanitarian law

UNAMA released a special report on Wednesday 9 October, which examines in detail the United States airstrikes against alleged methamphetamine processing facilities in Bakwa district of Farah province. The report concludes that the operation, which took place on 5 May 2019, “did not meet the definition of legitimate military objectives under international law.” It is […]

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (16): Signs of fraud in Zabul

In largely Taleban-controlled Zabul province, there are considerable discrepancies between the reported turnout and what was observed on the ground. After a very quiet campaign and fighting near the provincial capital and in all districts on election day, it was not a surprise to see very few voters in the polling centres in Qalat city. […]

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