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.

AAN Election Blog No. 26: If no one saw it, did it happen? – AAN recommended election reading (UPDATED)

Martine van Bijlert

The further you get from where things happened, the easier it is to wonder whether they ever took place at all. And whether the reports (and echoes of reports) and denials (and echoes of denials) are not just a matter of claim, counterclaim and unsubstantiated rumour. Whether the calls of fraud are not just part […]

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A response to AAN Election Blog No. 23

Martine van Bijlert

A reader responds to AAN Election Blog No. 23 (How much are we expected to believe?): “This article was forwarded to me by a friend. I was impressed with this article as it really reflects the concern of an Afghan who stepped out of his/her house with a hope and besides all risks cast his/her […]

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AAN Election Guest Blog 2: This is how election fraud worked in Kandahar

Willi Germund

It was already dark and Afghanistan‘s elections had been over since three hours. Then suddenly two men accompanied by three police cars with armed and uniformed escorts showed up in front of the polling site in Kandahar’s Aino Mena neighbourhood. Very relaxed they entered the premises where ballot boxes where waiting to be picked up […]

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AAN Election Guest Blog 1: Logar – any voters out there?

Christoph Reuter

For various reasons Logar seemed to be an interesting area to develop an understanding about the insurgency, the elections – and electoral fraud. The province, just south of Kabul, has the reputation to be at least partly controlled by Taleban. US forces conducted numerous raids in spring and had clashes with armed opponents. Only recently […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 25: Balm for Election Sores

Thomas Ruttig

The partial results presented by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in a well-attended press conference today in Kabul are mainly meant to calm down the tense atmosphere of accusations and counter-accusations that has developed since E-Day by applying a dose of transparency. It does not say much about what the outcome of the elections will […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 24: Stuffing and Counting in Paktia

Thomas Ruttig

A few days after the election, Paktia is in counting mode. Results from the districts trickle in and are collected and reconcilied by the different candidates’ campaigns. Also reports about a lot of irregularities are coming in, despite the low coverage of independent election observers. On the first two days after the election, Afghans in […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 23: How much are we expected to believe?

Martine van Bijlert

As journalists are starting to pack up and go home and observers are formulating their conclusions (some irregularities, need to work on the voter registration) it seems that the real contest is yet to start. The network of governors, district governors, police chiefs and local commanders, that was mobilised in the run up to the […]

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A clarification

Thomas Ruttig

Some German-language media have quoted me over the past days as saying that the turn-out during the Afghan presidential elections was ‘low except in the urban centres’. This seems to indicate that I spoke about all of Afghanistan. In fact, I said that this assessment only referred to South-Eastern Afghanistan, with the four provinces of […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 22: E-Day in P2K

Thomas Ruttig

Frankly, when I went to bed on E-Day eve in Gardez, on Wednesday, I wasn’t sure whether it was a good idea to leave the UNAMA compound the next day to watch polling sites in Paktia province. A lot of people looked very sceptical when I mentioned this idea. Gardez centre was the maximum, almost […]

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AAN Election Blog 21: Observing the Vote – An Election with Many Faces

Martine van Bijlert

Election Day 2009. After the suspense of the last few days, things seemed refreshingly normal. Kabul city was quiet, but people were chatting at the side of the road, riding their bicycles and allowing their children to play outside. I had decided to return to the areas where I had watched my first Afghan election […]

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Hamed Karzai addresses media representatives during a press conference. AFP PHOTO/SHAH Marai/2009

AAN Election Blog No. 20: Armchair analyst

Sari Kouvo

Distance can provide perspective, at least that is what armchair analysts like myself try to convince ourselves. However, having monitored two elections in Afghanistan, I know that distance also means that one misses the political undercurrents and the real stories behind facts and figures. During the first Presidential elections, Bob Dylan’s song ‘Black Diamond Bay’ […]

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AAN Electoral Blog No. 19: The day before the 2009 elections

Martine van Bijlert

Kabul 19 August 2009. The day started with a several hour shoot-out in Kabul’s old centre after a handful of armed men attacked a bank. The attack was claimed by a Taliban spokesperson and the story that was passed around was that the Taliban had entered the city and that fighting had started, which sounded […]

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