Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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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 […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Covid-19 in Afghanistan (3): Distributing aid and changing aid politics – view from a Herati village

S Reza Kazemi

At a time when coronavirus-related aid in Afghanistan is becoming a topic of heated discussion, and the cause of some unfortunate violent incidents, the aid that flowed into a rural community in Afghanistan’s western province of Herat was bitterly and deeply contested. With the day-to-day rhythm of life in this already impoverished village troubled by […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Topdara-stupan berättar om det buddistiska arvet

Jelena Bjelica

SCA/SAK, 6 April 2020 Jelena Bjelica’s AAN report, The Largest Standing Stupa in Afghanistan: A short history of the Buddhist site at Topdara, has been translated (and shortened) into a version in Swedish.

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The Largest Standing Stupa in Afghanistan: A short history of the Buddhist site at Topdara

Jelena Bjelica

A dome-shaped ancient Buddhist shrine, the Topdara stupa to the north of Kabul was described by 19th century British explorer Charles Masson as “perhaps the most complete and beautiful monument of the kind in these countries.” Since Masson’s visit in 1833, the Topdara stupa saw few visitors and had fallen into neglect until recently, in […]

Context and Culture Read more

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 […]

Political Landscape Read more

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (19): An ambiguous picture of E-day civilian casualties

Thomas Ruttig

The latest UNAMA report and other figures paint a mixed picture of the level of violence Afghanistan experienced on election day. On one hand, the day remained calmer than many feared, without the massive terror attacks threatened by the Taleban. On the other hand, 28 September was the second-most violent election day the country has ever […]

War and Peace Read more

A Tomb in Kabul: The Fate of the Last Amir of Bukhara and his country’s relations with Afghanistan

Thomas Ruttig Vladimir N Plastun

In addition to the last Amir of Bukhara’s former garden, on which we reported some days ago, there is another landmark in Kabul that reminds us of this unlucky ruler – his tomb at the Shuhada-ye Salehin cemetery. The Amir, Muhammad Alem Khan, died in Kabul in 1944 and remains buried in Afghanistan despite his […]

Regional Relations Read more
10 days 15 hours, 35 minutes and 13 seconds to go: The IEC's count down to the 20 October 2018 parliamentary elections in Afghanistan. Source: Screenshot from the IEC website, at the time of uploading this dispatch

Afghanistan Election Conundrum (16): Basic facts about the parliamentary elections

AAN Team Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has posted a clock on its home page that counts down the time remaining until the 20 October parliamentary election (minus Ghazni province). That’s a nice gag. It would also have been good if a counter had been provided to show, for example, the total number of registered voters (on its […]

Political Landscape Read more
Damage to the Paktia police and army headquarters in Gardez after the first Taleban attack in June 2017. Photo: Tolo.

The ‘Humvee Bomb’ Series: The October wave of Taleban attacks in 2017 context

Thomas Ruttig

In October 2017, Afghans experienced another particularly violent period. A series of high-profile insurgent attacks took place almost simultaneously in Kabul and five provinces. Provincial and district centres were targeted, as well as ANSF installations and Sunni and Shia mosques. The overall number of people killed in these attacks is estimated to be over 200, […]

War and Peace Read more
Power transmission line in Balkh province. Photo: Jelena Bjelica (2011).

Power to the People (2): The TUTAP protests

Thomas Ruttig

When protesters interrupted President Ashraf Ghani’s speech in London three times on 13 May 2016, the heated controversy surrounding the route of TUTAP, a main electricity grid initiative, received even international attention. In Afghanistan, the tensions have been simmering since January 2016 when Hazara members of the government started trying to prevent a potential rerouting of […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
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 […]

War and Peace Read more

Casting a Very Wide Net: Did Ghani just authorise interning Afghans without trial?

Kate Clark Lenny Linke

A recent decree by President Ghani on how to deal with terrorist crimes has introduced the prospect of detaining, without trial, Afghans (and foreigners in Afghanistan) suspected of planning acts of terrorism. The relevant article allows the Afghan authorities to detain suspects indefinitely on very little evidence and with little or no opportunity to defend […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more