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.

Legal Arguments and War Crimes: the ICC Appeals Hearing on Afghanistan in Five Questions

Ehsan Qaane Sari Kouvo

The judges of the International Criminal Court’s Appeals Chamber are now deciding whether to authorise an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly perpetrated in Afghanistan. The court’s Pre-Trial Chamber decided in April to reject such an investigation. At the appeal hearing, everyone who spoke agreed that crimes severe enough for the ICC […]

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Peace in the Districts (1): A chasm between high talks and local concerns in Afghanistan

S Reza Kazemi

As talks between the United States and the Taleban resume in Doha, we bring you the first of two dispatches on what Afghans in ten districts across the country think about the prospects for peace. The focus of the first dispatch is a theme which emerged from the interviews, the relationship – or lack of […]

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Afghanistan’s 2019 Elections (26): A Q&A about the ongoing election stalemate

Ali Yawar Adili

The aftermath of Afghanistan’s 2019 presidential election has now dragged on for 72 days. The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has missed two dates for the announcement of preliminary results and is 50 days behind its original election timetable. The commission has not decided yet when it will announce the results. Meanwhile, the IEC’s audit and […]

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Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (25): contradictory figures and low turnout in Kandahar

Fazl Rahman Muzhary

Kandahar’s turnout looks like it will be less than half the national average, pending finalisation of the numbers. There are many possible reasons for this, chief among them fraud, with limited reporting but plenty of anecdotal evidence of ballot stuffing and other irregularities. But Kandaharis also seem to have been deterred by the low level […]

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Afghan Sportswomen: Courage, hurdles and harassment

Rohullah Sorush

Afghan sportswomen have become a symbol of change for many in Afghanistan, representing hope for a more egalitarian society with greater opportunities for girls and women. For others, they are a symbol of western imperialism that is bringing change and undermining Afghan society and culture, turning women away from their families and traditional roles. For […]

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Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (24): Disputed recount, threats not to accept results, and some interesting new data

Ali Yawar Adili

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has overruled the demand by most of the presidential candidates to invalidate around 300,000 out of the 1.8 million votes (about 16 per cent) from the 28 September presidential election. Critics wanted these excluded before the IEC started auditing and recounting the votes from 8,255 ‘problematic’ polling stations. However, the […]

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Presidential Pardons: Trump sets his seal on a record of US impunity in Afghanistan

Kate Clark

Donald Trump has given a presidential pardon to three members of the American military for crimes they were accused or convicted of carrying out while on service in Afghanistan or Iraq. The pardons have raised questions as to whether there will be consequences for US behaviour on the battlefield and possibly also at the International […]

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A Maelstrom of Militias: Takhar, a case study of strongmen co-opting the ALP

Kate Clark

When the Ministry of Interior officials and human rights activists are asked where the worst Afghan Local Police (ALP) are, Takhar province is usually on the list. The reasons given are the enduring power of local strongmen over the force and the involvement of ALP units in crime, especially drug smuggling, and abuses of the […]

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BVV devices unloaded in IEC’s Warehouse Three where they were checked before being sent for data transfer. That transfer is now complete, but disputes over turnout continue. Photo: Ali Yawar Adili, 3 October 2019

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (23): Disputed biometric votes endanger election results

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica

Almost 40 days after the election, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) has still not been able to give a final turnout figure for the presidential election. The latest figure announced by the IEC is just over 1.8 million, but this does not seem to be the final count. As for the 770,000 to 900,000 votes […]

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Government Rule Confined to District and Provincial Centres: Zabul’s capital under threat

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

The Taleban have not yet been able to fully capture any province in Afghanistan, but they have been very close to capturing, or have briefly held, the provincial capitals of Kunduz, Farah, Ghazni, Uruzgan and Helmand in the recent past. Zabul province also remains on the brink, with the Taleban in control of most of […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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