Dispatches

Happy Eid al Fitr!

While many Afghans seem tired of the long electoral process, and despite the concerns and uncertainties felt by the Afghan people, we hope that the coming Eid Al Fitr can bring happy days to all. The Afghanistan Analysts Network wishes a very happy and peaceful Eid Al Fitr to all Muslims, and particularly to the […]

Afghanistan in World War I (1): Afghans in the Kaiser’s jihad

 A hundred years ago, on 28 July 1914, the First World War started when Austro-Hungary declared war on Serbia after a group of young pro-independence Serbian terrorists shot dead the Austro-Hungarian crown prince in Sarajevo one month earlier. Soon, millions were dying on the battlefields across four continents in what was termed the “first global […]

2014 Elections (42): Audit stopped, re-started, UN intervenes

There have been days of futile negotiations between the technical teams of the two presidential election candidates over the nature of the ‘invalidation’ criteria – the rules for deciding what to do with votes deemed suspicious in the audit of the 14 June second round of the presidential vote. Now, the United Nations has stepped in […]

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory: How ISAF infighting helped doom Sangin to its ongoing violence

Sangin district in Helmand has again, this year, seen heavy fighting, this time between the Afghan National Security Forces and the Taleban. With dozens killed and thousands displaced following an insurgent assault involving hundreds of fighters, the Taleban leadership is once again showing how much it values this strategic crossroads and poppy-producing hub. Guest author […]

Memorials and Patrons: How northern Afghan elites try to own history

Elites in Mazar-e Sharif, the capital of Balkh province and most important city in the north, have, in recent years, supported the building of new memorials and re-naming of the city’s streets and intersections. They are also sponsoring intellectuals and their literary and artistic output. These are politically driven cultural projects, attempts by the leading […]

Elections 2014 (41): Audit started, rules as yet unclear

The audit of all of the votes cast in Afghanistan’s presidential election run-off has begun at the headquarters of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on the outskirts of Kabul on 17 July. Thirty teams of IEC staff (to be raised eventually to one hundred) checked just one ballot box each, overseen by candidates’ agents, observers […]

Elections (40): The IECC open sessions on election day complaints

Earlier this month, while the IEC was busy deciding whether to announce the highly controversial preliminary results or not, the IECC embarked on its third round of complaints adjudication. The first two rounds – first round presidential and the, now paused, provincial council hearings – had already been a rushed and largely formalistic affair. This […]

Elections 2014 (39): Has Kerry saved the day?

The full, 100 per cent audit decided on in the ‘Kerry agreement,’ reached late on 12 July 2014, will start tomorrow. It will be the first step in trying to steer Afghanistan out of its presidential elections crisis. The two candidates, Dr Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani both agreed to abide by the results, with the […]

“A Dangerous New Turn”: UNAMA reports a sharp rise in civilian casualties

For the first time since UNAMA started documenting civilian casualties in 2009, more civilians have been killed in ground fighting than from any other tactic. In its six monthly report on the protection of civilians, it reported “a direct correlation” in some areas between the closures of international bases and a rise in civilian casualties, […]

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