Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Jelena Bjelica

New World Drug Report: Opium production in Afghanistan remained the same in 2019

Jelena Bjelica

The United Nations Drugs and Crime Office’s (UNODC) World Drug Report, released today, shows a decrease in the cultivation of opium in Afghanistan in 2019 following price falls after the bumper years in 2017 and 2018. However, in 2019 when weather conditions were optimal for growing poppy and plant disease absent, yields were high. Overall, that meant […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

UNAMA’s New Report on Anti-corruption: More backsliding from government and growing frustration from donors

Jelena Bjelica

The annual UNAMA anti-corruption report released today shows that the institutional fight against graft in Afghanistan between January 2019 and April 2020 has stalled in many areas. While the report acknowledges that the reform agenda has been overshadowed by the presidential elections and the pandemic, it does not hold back from pointing to failures in […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Is the Citizens’ Charter the Right Vehicle for Reconciliation? The risks of monetising peace

Jelena Bjelica

The Citizens’ Charter is a community-driven development programme, currently implemented in one third of Afghanistan, which is seen as key means of reducing poverty. However, there are pilots planned that will stretch this ambitious programme beyond its economic goals, to use it as a vehicle for peace. AAN’s Jelena Bjelica looks at the mixed achievements of […]

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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 […]

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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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BVV devices that have arrived in IEC’s Warehouse 3 in Kabul. They will be checked and then sent to IEC headquarters for their data to be transferred to the IEC server. Photo: Ali Yawar Adili, 3 October 2019

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (21): BVV devices and a delay in announcing preliminary results

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has completed the transfer of data from the biometric devices to its central server. Those 1,932,673 votes now need to be gone through using a verification process to weed out duplicate, underage and ‘photo-proxy’ votes. Only then, will the IEC know the final number of biometrically-validated votes. It has also, […]

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Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (20): Even lower turnout figures

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has published the first turnout figures which are backed up by biometric voter data. After weeks of ever greater turnout figures being successively announced, this latest update has reversed the trend: the IEC is now saying only 1.7 million ‘BVVed votes’ were cast, a decrease in reported turnout of almost one […]

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A US Air Force A-10 strikes alleged Taliban narcotics facility in Farah province on 3 April 2018. US forces in Afghanistan and Afghan National Defense and Security Forces conducted a series of strikes on alleged Taliban narcotics production facilities in Farah and Nimroz provinces in April 2018 and May 2019. Photo: Resolute Support website.

New UNAMA Civilian Causalities Report: US targeting of alleged drug labs goes against international humanitarian law

Jelena Bjelica

UNAMA released a special report on Wednesday 9 October, which examines in detail the United States airstrikes against alleged methamphetamine processing facilities in Bakwa district of Farah province. The report concludes that the operation, which took place on 5 May 2019, “did not meet the definition of legitimate military objectives under international law.” It is […]

War and Peace 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

Thomas Ruttig Jelena Bjelica

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 […]

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

Thomas Ruttig Martine van Bijlert Jelena Bjelica Ali Yawar Adili

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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Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (9): Presidential poll primer

Ali Yawar Adili Thomas Ruttig Jelena Bjelica

After two delays and the cancelation of a peace deal which might have scuppered the poll altogether, Afghanistan’s presidential election is finally to happen, on Saturday 28 September. It will be the country’s fourth presidential election and seventh election in total since 2001. In this primer, AAN’s Ali Yawar Adili, Jelena Bjelica and Thomas Ruttig […]

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