Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

War and Peace

This thematic category brings together AAN’s reporting on the conflict in Afghanistan, its underlying causes and drivers, the various armed actors and how it affects Afghans in their everyday lives.

Girls and boys from Nawaabad school singing the national anthem to welcome the protesters to Ghazni city. (2018: the peace marchers)

Peace (hopefully) for a few days: A ceasefire for Eid as Helmand marchers approach Kabul

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

Afghans may, just possibly, have a happier Eid than in previous years. The government, the Taleban and the United States military have all called temporary ceasefires. Meanwhile, seven marchers for peace, who set off from Helmand on 13 May have been walking towards Kabul in temperatures of more than 40 degrees while keeping the Ramadan […]

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Why Farah?  A short history of the local insurgency (II)

Thomas Ruttig

The Taleban have been a persistent and growing force in Farah since 2001, rebuilding their strength quietly after the US invasion and then seizing territory in remote districts. Insurgents now challenge pro-government figures for control of valuable trade and smuggling routes, assisted by the disarray among their opponents as the provincial government is hobbled by […]

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Surrounding the Cities: The meaning of the latest battle for Farah (I)

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Obaid Ali Rohullah Sorush Thomas Ruttig

An attack on Farah city had long been feared. For years now, the Taleban have been taking control of the provincial capital’s outlying districts and inching their way towards the central hub. For a few days in mid-May, it looked as though the Taleban were about to take Farah city, which would have been their […]

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How to End the Afghan War? A new publication on peace reviewed

Kate Clark

A new short book-length report, “Incremental peace in Afghanistan” looks at what is needed to end the Afghan conflict. It explores the many drivers towards the war continuing – external backing for both sides, the war economy and basic persisting disputes about power-sharing – but also details what could drive a peace process – the […]

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Uprising, ALP and Taleban in Andar: The arc of government failure  

Kate Clark Fazl Rahman Muzhary

The Taleban look to be preparing for a new onslaught on Andar district centre. The name ‘Andar’ is still full of political resonance, gained in the summer of 2012 when the Taleban were suddenly and swiftly pushed out of a large part of the district. That counter-insurgency in an insurgent stronghold was styled the ‘Andar […]

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Still under the IS’s Black Flag: Qari Hekmat’s ISKP island in Jawzjan after his death by drone

Obaid Ali

In April, Qari Hekmatullah, the self-proclaimed commander of the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), was killed in a US airstrike. Under his command, a local affiliate of the Afghan-Pakistani Daesh affiliate, ISKP, had challenged both the government and the Taleban and established almost full control over two remote districts of Jawzjan province, Darzab and Qush […]

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Helmand Peace March Initiative protestors pray for peace in their tent at the Ghazi Ayub Khan Stadium. Photo: c/o Helmand Peace March Initiative, 2018.

Going Nationwide: The Helmand peace march initiative

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

Protests in Helmand calling for a ceasefire and talks between insurgents and government are about to enter their second month. The pro-peace demonstrations which began in what are often described as the Taleban’s ‘southern heartlands’, have been spreading: they can now be found in half of Afghanistan’s provinces and for now, at least, they are […]

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Battle for Faryab: Fighting intensifies on one of Afghanistan’s major frontlines

Obaid Ali Thomas Ruttig

An intense battle is under way near the city of Maimana, the capital of Faryab. In this northern province, the Taleban gained control over a majority of districts over 2017, including all of those close to the provincial capital, which is practically under siege. They also threaten the national ring road and important provincial roads. […]

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Precarious Consolidation: Qari Hekmat’s IS-affiliated ‘island’ survives another Taleban onslaught

Obaid Ali

Qari Hekmat, a self-proclaimed IS commander in control of parts of Jawzjan, has survived another Taleban attempt to oust him from the area in January 2018. Following this, he attempted – without success – to take a district centre in the province from government control. AAN’s Obaid Ali has compiled additional information about how he […]

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The Second meeting of Kabul Process for Peace and Security Cooperation, held on 28 February 2018 in the Afghan capital, marked a change in peace rhetoric. Credit: Tolo

Who shall cease the fire first? Afghanistan’s peace offer to the Taleban

Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

The second meeting of the Kabul Process for Peace and Security Cooperation that was held in the Afghan capital on 28 February 2018 marked a change in the peace rhetoric. The Afghan government presented some very concrete proposals for peace talks with the Taleban. It came with a few conditions (not called as such) – mainly […]

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The cover of the 2017 UNAMA report showing a victim of the 25 August, ISKP-claimed attack on the Shia Imam Zaman Mosque in Kabul city. A suicide bomber and four gunmen killed 35 civilians and injured 65 others during Friday prayers. Photo: (C) Omar Sobhani, Reuters

Nine Per Cent Reduction in Civilian Casualties in 2017: Better news (but still bad)

Kate Clark

For the first time since 2012, UNAMA has recorded a year-on-year decrease – of nine per cent – in civilian casualties sustained during the Afghan conflict. This relatively good news still meant that more than ten thousand civilians were killed and injured during 2017. There are glimmers of hope in UNAMA’s report; the Afghan National […]

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After the deadly truck bomb that hit Kabul on 31 May 2017. Photo: Andrew Quilty

Five Questions to Make Sense of the New Peak in Urban Attacks and a Violent Week in Kabul

Thomas Ruttig

Between 20 and 29 January 2018, there were five high profile attacks in major cities and districts in Afghanistan. The three by far largest ones happened in the capital Kabul. This feeds into a month-long period of such attacks that began in late December 2017. Altogether, almost 250 people, most of them civilians, were killed […]

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