Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Balkh

A Quarter of Afghanistan’s Districts Fall to the Taleban amid Calls for a ‘Second Resistance’

Kate Clark Obaid Ali

In the last few weeks, the Taleban have captured scores of district centres across Afghanistan. In this report, we look at the general reasons for the success of the Taleban onslaught, before focusing on the north, which has seen a collapse of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) of unprecedented speed and scale. The fall […]

War and Peace Read more

Covid-19 in Afghanistan (9): Into the third wave

Thomas Ruttig Rohullah Sorush

Afghanistan has entered the third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic amid an unprecedented rise in confirmed cases. Doctors in various provinces detected signs of the impending new wave soon after the start of the Afghan new year (21 March), but the government only imposed contact restrictions on 28 May and enlisted religious scholars to urge […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

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 […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Covid-19 in Afghanistan (7): The effects of the pandemic on the private lives and safety of women at home

Khadija Hossaini

Covid-19 has had an alarming effect on Afghanistan, exacerbating poverty and reducing access to health care, in addition to the deaths and illness. The pandemic has also had specific consequences for women, particularly during lockdown, including increased levels of domestic violence and reduced access to schools and medical care. AAN’s Khadija Hossaini discovered that women […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Citizens, Finally, But No Place to Settle: The Magats, one of Afghanistan’s most marginalised minorities

Khadija Hossaini Thomas Ruttig

The Magats – a small ethnic group most frequently called ‘Jogi’ by others, a term often considered derogatory by them – have been living in Afghanistan for more than a century. Until recently, they were stateless but have now started a struggle for legal recognition and acknowledgement of their identity. The first successes, such as registration […]

Context and Culture Read more

Covid-19 in Afghanistan (1): No large outbreak yet in the country

Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan has so far been moderately affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with fewer than 100 people testing positive and four confirmed fatalities. There are strong indications that these cases may have been seeded by the outbreak in neighbouring Iran, via Afghans who returned from that country. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig has compiled an overview of what […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
With intermittent fighting and rocket attacks throughout the day, election workers in the Awal Baba school voting centre in Maidan Shahr, had little work to do. Photo: Andrew Quilty, 2019.

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (13): Observations from Kandahar, Takhar, Wardak and Balkh

AAN Team

Observations from the provinces show an election that, in general, saw less violence than anticipated, although some provinces were still very violent. Despite this, turnout was low, even in the relatively safe provincial capitals. Problems with the biometric verification process also meant that some voters who were registered were sent away. In this dispatch, AAN […]

Political Landscape Read more
Counting the vote in Bamyan city in Afghanstan’s fourth presidential elections (Photo: Ali Yawar Adili 2019)

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (11): A first look at how E-Day went

Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

The Independent Election Commission has given its first rough estimation of turnout in Afghanistan’s 2019 Presidential Elections. It was low, with fewer than two million voters out of 9.66 million registered, about a quarter, coming out to vote. The Taleban only managed to conduct one large-scale attack, in Kandahar city, but committed 400 other, mainly […]

Political Landscape Read more

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (10): What to watch out for on election day

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica Martine van Bijlert Thomas Ruttig

Past Afghan elections have frequently been bewildering and surreal, even for those following the politics of the country for a long time. With this in mind, and taking into account the recent measures adopted to try to stave off a repeat of the chaos, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig, Martine van Bijlert, Ali Yawar Adili and Jelena […]

Political Landscape Read more

Rug Weavers and Bride Prices in the Northwest: Still expensive in spite of government and Taleban rules

Obaid Ali

Weddings in Afghanistan are often an expensive and ‘back-breaking’ affair. A government law to change the expensive wedding culture remains largely unimplemented and there seems to be little will to enforce it. The Taleban have also imposed an assortment of rules for controlling wedding costs in areas under their command, which vary depending on the […]

Context and Culture Read more

The Myth of ‘Afghan Black’ (2): The cultural history of hashish consumption in Afghanistan

Fabrizio Foschini Jelena Bjelica Obaid Ali

Hashish or chars is a fairly common substance in Afghanistan. Its use, without ever attaining the levels of mass consumption that characterise other lightly-intoxicating substances in other war-torn countries, like the chewing of qat in Yemen or Somalia, for example, has remained relatively widespread. This does not mean that it is condoned by society: hashish-users, known as […]

Context and Culture Read more
A voter in Paktika province being ‘biometrically verified’. Across the country, the new procedure caused problems and delays (Photo: Fazal Muzhary)

Election Day One (Evening Update): Voter determination and technical shambles

AAN Team Kate Clark Thomas Ruttig

In our first update of the day, AAN reported on the mixed turnout – far higher in the cities and other secure places and lower in districts where the Taleban could close roads and prevent voting. Those determined to vote faced not only Taleban violence, but also many technical problems and late-opening polling centres. In […]

Political Landscape Read more