Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Reports

Reports – previously known as dispatches – are the flagship of the AAN website and our main type of publication. AAN reports are based on extensive desk and field research and provide timely and in-depth information and analysis.

A Deal in the Mist: How much of the US-Taleban Doha agreement has been implemented?

Thomas Ruttig

One year ago, on 29 February 2020, Zalmay Khalilzad, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation at the US State Department, and Mullah Baradar, Taleban Deputy Leader for Political Affairs, signed the “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” in Doha. Simultaneously, representatives of the US and the Afghan government signed the similarly titled but less discussed “Joint Declaration between […]

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Civilian Casualties Worsened as Intra-Afghan Talks Began, says UNAMA’s 2020 report on the Protection of Civilians

Kate Clark

UNAMA’s 2020 report civilian casualties in the Afghan conflict published today shows the overall number of civilians killed and injured fell by 15 per cent compared to 2019. Yet, for the first time since UNAMA began systematically documenting civilian casualties 12 years ago, they increased in the fourth quarter, driven especially by insurgent violence. Rather […]

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AAN Q&A: Mediation or facilitation “would help” in the Doha talks

AAN Team

The intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha are stalling since the first round ended in December 2020 with an agreement on the talks’ rules of procedure and both parties forwarding their lists of items for an agenda for the next rounds. In order to find out where there are possible ways out of the current political stalemate, […]

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Droughts on the Horizon: Can Afghanistan manage this risk? 

Mhd Assem Mayar

In the last two decades, Afghanistan has experienced more droughts than ever before. New data suggest that after two relatively good years, the country is facing a moderate-to-high drought risk for the new year 1400 (2021). Half of Afghanistan’s agricultural land depends on spring rainfall, which has become less reliable because of climate change. Annual droughts in […]

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Police and NDS Torture: One in three security detainees tortured, despite long-term downward trend

Kate Clark

UNAMA and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have released their latest report on the treatment of conflict-related detainees in Afghanistan. They found only the slightest reduction in the reporting of torture and ill-treatment since 2017-18, with torture still being used against 30 per cent – or one in […]

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A Sufi Lodge, a Leaning Minaret and a Polymath’s Shrine: A look at recent efforts to preserve – and appreciate – historical Herat

S Reza Kazemi

Herat, the oasis town in the far northwest of Afghanistan, has been a flourishing Sufi and cultural centre at various points along its long, chequered history. Based on observations, conversations and a literature review, and illustrated by photos, AAN researcher Reza Kazemi takes a look at the city’s rich heritage through three memorials: a tenth-century […]

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Living with the Taleban (3): Local experiences in Dasht-e Archi district, Kunduz province

Bilal Sediqi

In our third study exploring Taleban rule in territories under their control, AAN looks at Dasht-e Archi district in Kunduz province. The intra-Afghan talks in Doha may presage an Afghan state with key positions held by the Taleban. At the very least, the pattern of the Taleban controlling particular localities is likely to continue. In this […]

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AAN Obituary: Muhammad Azam Rahnaward Zaryab, pioneering Afghan writer and guardian of the Persian language

Thomas Ruttig

One of Afghanistan’s most influential and prolific writers died in a Kabul hospital 40 days ago on 11 December 2020. Born in Kabul in 1944, Zaryab wrote some of the first modern Afghan novels, and his contributions to Afghanistan’s literature inspired a new generation of Afghan writers. In Afghanistan’s post-Taleban media scene, the celebrated author […]

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Living with the Taleban (2): Local experiences in Nad Ali district, Helmand province

AAN Guests

What is it like to live in an area controlled by the Taleban? How does their rule affect your life and can you influence what they do? To answer these questions, we embarked on a research project scrutinising three districts in depth, looking at the local dynamics of citizen/Taleban interactions, the structure of Taleban government and whether local […]

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AAN’s most-read dispatches in 2020: Cannabis, Bollywood, Bride Prices… and War

Kate Clark

2020 was a year when our readers wanted to read about the war and efforts to find peace and Afghanistan’s culture and history. Reports scrutinising the Doha talks and mapping the conflict appeared in our twenty most-read publications last year, along with others looking at Afghanistan’s history, its relationship with Bollywood and practices around getting married and […]

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mountains

Shrinking, Thinning, Retreating: Afghan glaciers under threat from climate change

Jelena Bjelica

Lying high up in Afghanistan’s highest mountains, hidden from most human eyes, are almost 4,000 glaciers, according to the first comprehensive Afghan glacier database. These glaciers are of critical importance for Afghans for supplying water for drinking and irrigation. Yet research shows Afghanistan’s glaciers are melting. Almost 14 per cent of the total area of […]

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Intra-Afghan Talks (1): Rules of procedure agreed, but still no agenda as talks resume

Ali Yawar Adili

The second round of intra-Afghan negotiations – as they are officially called – is scheduled to begin in two days time, on 5 January 2021, in Doha. The first round ended on 14 December after three months of talks. During that time, the teams managed only to agree on the rules of procedure for the […]

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