Dispatches

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, […]

Elections 2014 (37): Preliminary results before agreement on auditing

The Independent Elections Commission (IEC) has announced preliminary results for the presidential run-off, today, 7 July 2014. The ‘raw’ votes, (largely before fraud has been taken into account) give a turnout of almost 8 million, with Ashraf Ghani getting 56 per cent of the vote and Abdullah Abdullah 43 per cent. For the last few […]

Elections 2014 (36): Some key documents

As an annex to AAN’s election reporting, please find below the text of two letters that the Abdullah camp sent to the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on 25 June 2014, as well as the IEC’s answer the next day (annex 1) and the transcript to some of the main recordings that have been released by […]

Elections 2014 (35): A delay, an audit and a change of tone

The Independent Electoral Commission’s delay of the preliminary results of the presidential run-off, from 2 to 7 July 2014, and its decision to audit almost 2000 polling stations that show possible signs of ballot stuffing, seems to have signalled a change in the electoral mood. Whereas days before the commission still showed signs of intending […]

A Break(dance) from the Elections: The street hits the Kabul stage

As election chaos and fraught discussions over Afghanistan’s future weary even the most passionate activist, there is a fringe of Afghans only minimally concerned with politics who spend their time… breakdancing? Not the most intuitive choice for young citizens of a country where many still frown on music and dance. Or perhaps it is the […]

The prospect of peace talks after the Bergdahl deal: A Taleban perspective

Bowe Bergahl, now back in America, and the five Taleban ex-Guantanamo detainees, in Qatar, will all be trying to get used to life after detention. Beyond the personal, what political consequences might the deal have? After years of efforts, it was wrapped up unexpectedly fast and, in the end, was a stand-alone deal, not part […]

Little Bridges: AAN’s new report on the slowly growing links between Afghanistan and the Central Asia republics

Reports about Afghanistan and its neighbours to the north usually lump the five former Soviet Central Asia republics together as an undifferentiated block  – ‘the Stans’. Such an approach does not reflect the reality of five countries with very different, mainly bilateral and very local relationships with Afghanistan. The distortion has only been worsened by […]

Elections (34): The tug-of-war over the Hazara vote, round II

How did the large Afghan Hazara minority – that surprised everyone in the first round with its nearly unanimous backing for Dr Abdullah – vote in the second round of the presidential elections? Partial results from the Independent Election Commission (IEC) are not yet available, but in one of the key provinces for Hazaras, Bamyan, […]

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