Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Month: October 2019

CIA-backed strike force units in Afghanistan

There are five militias that, says Human Rights Watch, come under only the nominal control of the Afghan intelligence agency, the NDS and do not “fall under the ordinary chain of command within the NDS, nor under normal Afghan or US military chains of command.” Rather, they are “recruited, trained, equipped, and overseen by the […]

Human Rights Read more
Part of the compound of Naim Faruki, who was killed on 30 December 2018 in Zurmat, Paktia, allegedly by the Khost Protection Force. His brother described how, before the strike force entered, the compound wall was detonated by a bomb or a rocket - the family was not sure.

CIA-backed Afghan paramilitaries accused of grave abuses: new Human Rights Watch report

Kate Clark

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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
Kuduz after the fighting on September 28, 2015. Photo Credit: @ehsan_af (Twitter)

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (22): Glances at Kunduz, Baghlan, Samangan

Obaid Ali

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 […]

Political Landscape Read more

Will the ICC Start an Investigation in Afghanistan after all? What we know so far about the ICC appeals hearing

Ehsan Qaane Sari Kouvo

After the startling rejection in April by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of the prosecutors’ request to launch an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, there has been a flurry of appeals by both prosecutor and victims. Some of these will be heard in December at the Appeals Chamber of the […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

The Shattered Afghan Dream of Peace


The New Yorker, 28 October 2019 “Trump upended peace talks. Civilian casualties keep climbing. After eighteen years of war, Afghans are suffering more than ever.” A tour-de-force about Afghanistan’s present: a refugee boy-turned-Taleb-turned-IS fighter-turned reconcilee; Achin militiamen; victims of the N.D.S./C.I.A. “hybrid units” which are “N.D.S. in name only” in Sherzad, Nangrahar. Doha talks, elections, women talking to the […]

Recommended Reads Read more

Afghanistan nach den Wahlen: „Die Afghanen müssen ihr Schicksal selbst in die Hand nehmen“

Thomas Ruttig

Reporter, 26 October 2019 This interview with Austro-Afghan journalist Emran Feroz names AAN’s Thomas Ruttig as a reliable source on Afghanistan in the German-speaking areas.

AAN in the Media Read more

In a Quiet Corner, an Old Afghan Poet Polishes ‘the Heart’s Mirror’


New York Times, 25 October 2019 “The heart is like a mirror,” Mr. Wujodi said. “If it is cleansed of the dust and fog, whichever way or object you aim it at the reflection of it would be reflected in the mirror.” A lovely reportage by Mujib Mashal about Haidari Wujodi, a Sufi poet-librarian, who has […]

Recommended Reads Read more
BVV devices that have arrived in IEC’s Warehouse 3 in Kabul. They will be checked and then sent to IEC headquarters for their data to be transferred to the IEC server. Photo: Ali Yawar Adili, 3 October 2019

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

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

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, […]

Political Landscape Read more

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (20): Even lower turnout figures

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has published the first turnout figures which are backed up by biometric voter data. After weeks of ever greater turnout figures being successively announced, this latest update has reversed the trend: the IEC is now saying only 1.7 million ‘BVVed votes’ were cast, a decrease in reported turnout of almost one […]

Political Landscape Read more

IEC’s statement about the delay to announcing the preliminary results of the presidential election (AAN’s working translation)

IEC’s statement about the delay to announcing the preliminary results of the presidential election (AAN’s working translation) Date: 19 October 2019 First of all, the IEC apologises to the people of Afghanistan and the stakeholders involved in the election process for not announcing and publishing the preliminary results of 28 September election. The IEC appreciates […]

Elections Read more

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (19): An ambiguous picture of E-day civilian casualties

Thomas Ruttig

The latest UNAMA report and other figures paint a mixed picture of the level of violence Afghanistan experienced on election day. On one hand, the day remained calmer than many feared, without the massive terror attacks threatened by the Taleban. On the other hand, 28 September was the second-most violent election day the country has ever […]

War and Peace Read more
The polling centre manager helps control female voters queuing to cast their ballots during the extended polling time, at the Shinya Madrasa, Bamyan. Photo: Ali Yawar Adili, 28 September 2019

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

Ali Yawar Adili

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 […]

Political Landscape Read more