Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Nuristan

Taleban Victory or Government Failure? A security update on Laghman province 

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

Laghman province saw four of its six districts fall to the Taleban between late May and mid-July, part of the countrywide territorial advance by the Taleban that coincided with the final phase of the United States withdrawal from 1 May onwards. Laghman has long been contested, with a strong Taleban presence in some rural areas, […]

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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 […]

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Hit from Many Sides (2): The demise of ISKP in Kunar

Obaid Ali Khalid Gharanai

One year ago, the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State – called Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) – lost its last territorial base in Afghanistan in Kunar province. This followed a first severe defeat in their major stronghold in the country, in Nangrahar province in late 2019. No open ISKP presence is left in Kunar […]

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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 […]

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The 2018 Election Observed (5) in Nuristan: Disfranchisement and lack of data

Jelena Bjelica Obaid Ali Thomas Ruttig

Organising elections in Nuristan, one of the most remote, under-served and unknown provinces, presents a severe challenge. Most villages are far from their nearest district centre and all of the districts are under some degree of Taleban control or influence. In two districts – Mandol and Du-Ab – people were fully deprived of their right […]

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Afghanistan Election Conundrum (13): New voter registry too good to be true

Scott Warden

One of the main goals of Afghanistan launching a new voter registration process – a key provision of the 2014 National Unity Government Agreement – was to more accurately match the number of ballot papers to the number of voters in any given area. It was hoped this would reduce the opportunities for ballot stuffing. […]

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Screenshot of the Taleban's spring offensive announcement 2016 on their English language website

Operation Omari: Taleban Announced 2016 Spring Offensive

AAN Team Borhan Osman

The Taleban made their yearly spring offensive announcement on 12 April 2016. The statement attributed to Taleban leadership council (Rahbari Shura) named the offensive “Operation Omari,” in honour of the movement’s late leader and provides clues with regard to both the Taleban’s plans and the way they wish to present themselves. Of particular note are the […]

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Samples of methamphetamine and other synthetic drugs, like ecstasy and MDMA, exhibited in the display cabinet of state-of-the-art CNPA forensics lab in Kabul, Afghanistan (Photo by Jelena Bjelica 2015)

Afghanistan Breaking Bad: Crystal meth, a new drug on the market

Jelena Bjelica

The first methamphetamine seizure in Afghanistan was recorded in 2008, a minor capture of four grams in Helmand province. Now, seven years later, some 17 kilograms of methamphetamine, popularly known as ‘crystal meth’, were seized in the first ten months of 2015, in 14 out of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. The Ministry of Counter Narcotics warned […]

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The German expedition members also gave medical treatment to the local Nuristani population. Photo from: Herrlich, Land des Lichtes (1938).

The Hunt for the Holy Wheat Grail: A not so ‘botanical’ expedition in 1935

Thomas Ruttig

AAN has just reported about an area in Central Afghanistan, the Shah Foladi in the Koh-e Baba mountain range, that was recently declared a new conservation area for its botanical diversity. This reminded AAN’s co-director Thomas Ruttig of a first ‘botanical’ expedition – 80 years ago, in 1935 – to another isolated mountainous region of […]

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Pro-IS/Daesh slogan on a wall at Kabul University. Photo from social media.

Messages in Chalk: ‘Islamic State’ haunting Afghanistan?

Borhan Osman

Rumours of the presence of Islamic State (IS) elements in Afghanistan have repeatedly made it into the media over recent months, sparking public debate and adding to the anxiety about what course the insurgency might take. AAN researcher Borhan Osman says that IS has support among limited numbers of Afghan radical youth – although even […]

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Elections 2014 (35): A delay, an audit and a change of tone

Kate Clark Martine van Bijlert

The Independent Electoral Commission’s delay of the preliminary results of the presidential run-off, from 2 to 7 July 2014, and its decision to audit almost 2000 polling stations that show possible signs of ballot stuffing, seems to have signalled a change in the electoral mood. Whereas days before the commission still showed signs of intending […]

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Elections 2014 (9): Making sense of the first ten per cent of the results

Martine van Bijlert

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has released its long-awaited first, partial results, having counted a little over half a million votes, representing a 10 per cent result in 26 provinces. The results, announced on 13 April 2014 in a short press conference, showed Dr Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani firmly in the lead – something which […]

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