Dispatches

Commemoration in the Basement: Kabul’s hidden war victims museum (2)

With the Afghanistan Centre for Memories and Dialogue, a new museum dedicated to the victims of the Afghan wars of the last four decades and their families has opened in Kabul in February this year. It was initially supposed to be housed in the capital’s landmark Behzad cinema but now is confined to a provisional […]

What’s in a Woman’s Name? No name, no public persona

Across Afghanistan, women are not addressed or referred to by their names in public. Even on wedding invitations and tombstones, they are typically referred to as the daughter, wife or mother of their father, husband or eldest son. Many Afghans believe naming a woman in public dishonours her. Others are arguing that a tradition that […]

Afghanistan’s 2019 Elections (3): New electoral commissioners, amendments to the electoral law

President Ashraf Ghani has appointed new commissioners and heads of secretariats for both electoral commissions, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Election Complaints Commission (ECC). This follows a busy few weeks in which the election law was amended, all the old electoral commissioners were dismissed and new electoral officers voted in by the presidential […]

One Land, Two Rules (3): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Dasht-e Archi district in Kunduz province

Dasht-e Archi, a district in the northeastern corner of Kunduz province is almost entirely controlled by the Taleban. They have established shadow sub-national governance structures in the district, while most local government officials are absent and work remotely from the provincial capital. Although the Taleban do not provide any services themselves, they have co-opted government […]

Record Numbers of Civilian Casualties Overall, from Suicide Attacks and Air Strikes: UNAMA reports on the conflict in 2018

The downturn in civilian casualties recorded in 2017 has reversed. UNAMA, in its 2018 Annual Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Afghanistan, released today, records almost 11,000 civilians injured or killed in 2018, a five per cent increase compared to 2017. It is the highest number of civilian casualties on record. […]

“Faint lights twinkling against the dark”: Reportage from the fight against ISKP in Nangrahar

It has been almost four years since the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) captured territory in southern Nangrahar province, where it ruled with extreme brutality, and nearly two years since the United States military and Afghan government forces began concertedly fighting the group there. (The Taleban, too, have fought ISKP sporadically.) The last commander of […]

From Sufi Sheikh to President: Historic mujahedin leader Mujaddedi passes away

With Sebghatullah Mujaddedi, another of the historic leaders of the mujahedin parties, which fought the Soviet occupation (1979-89), has died. Mujaddedi belonged to a famous family of Sufi leaders and for this spiritual position, he was widely known simply as with the honorific ‘Hazrat Saheb’ in Afghanistan. Having been severely ill for some time, Mujaddedi […]

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