Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Month: February 2024

Afghanistan: Archaeological sites ‘bulldozed for looting’

BBC, 22 February 2024 Based on satellite images, researchers at the University of Chicago have found that dozens of archaeological sites have been bulldozed a new pattern in the Balkh region from 2018 onwards to allow systematic looting. The teams says 162 ancient settlements were “devastated at an astonishing rate of one a week” between […]

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UN-Gipfel zu Afghanistan: Taliban zieren sich

Tageszeitung, 18 February 2024 AAN’s Thomas Ruttig reports about the hickups before the second Doha special envoy meetings on Afghanistan, particularly Taleban demands leading to their no-show (in German).

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The Contest for a Special Envoy: Will the meeting in Doha yield a shift in the world’s engagement with the Emirate? 

Roxanna Shapour

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will host a second meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan in the capital of Qatar, Doha, on 18-19 February 2024. Unlike the last gathering in May 2023, the Emirate has also been invited, although it has not yet confirmed that it will send a delegation. The two-day meeting is expected […]

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Bostan Karim (L) and Abdul Zahir (C), two former prisoners held at the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, arrive at Kabul airport in Kabul airport. Photo: AFP, 12 February 2024

Home at Last: After more than 20 years, two former inmates of Guantanamo reach Afghanistan

Kate Clark

Two more Afghan former inmates of the United States’ Guantanamo detention camp have finally returned home after more than two decades incarcerated or in exile. Abdul Zahir from Logar was detained by US forces and rendered to Guantanamo in July 2002, while Bostan Karim from Paktia was arrested by Pakistan a month later and handed […]

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Afghan opium’s big high

El País (English), 13 February 2024 In this article in one of the leading Spanish dailies reporting that the price of opium poppy in Afghanistan has reached its highest level in two decades following two years of a Taleban ban in its cultivation and its social consequences, AAN is quoted: “The ban has deprived millions of […]

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China moving into Afghanistan for oil, natural gas, and lithium

Washington Examiner, 6 February 2024 This article reports a recent SIGAR report saying that “China is sliding in[to Afghanistan after the US withdrawal] with its eyes on the war-torn country’s natural resources” and “being welcomed with open arms by the ruling Taliban government.” It also quotes from a recent AAN report by Thomas Ruttig, cited in the […]

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The Daily Hustle: Mission impossible – the quest for passports and visas in Afghanistan

AAN Team Roxanna Shapour

Afghans who got onto evacuation lists may have the chance to go to Europe or North America, if they can get passports and visas for Pakistan. Their first dilemma is whether to go; it is not easy leaving one’s homeland. But there is a second dilemma – whether to spend savings or go into debt to get the […]

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Three years since Kabul fell: Is it time to recognise the Taliban?

TRT World, 2 February 2024 In this article, discussing the title-giving question, several experts give their opinion. This is what AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted with: “As long as the Taliban do not show in practice that they respect human rights for all Afghans, including those who disagree with them on certain or many issues, […]

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Ausschuss zu Afghanistan im Bundestag: Berlin und die unterschätzten Taliban

Tageszeitung, 2 February 2024 In this op-ed for the Berlin-based daily, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig reports about the two most recent hearing session in the German Bundestag’s (parliament) special enquiry committee on Germany’s part in the last 19 months (between the Doha agreement and the withdrawal of the final western troop) of the Afghanistan mission. He […]

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