Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Jelena Bjelica

Election officials struggled with the new biometric verification devices, here being used in a polling centre in Daikundi. (Photo: Ehsan Qaane 2018)

Election Day Two: A triumph of administrative chaos

AAN Team Jelena Bjelica

The second day of the Afghan parliamentary election has been as chaotic as the first. Because many polling centres failed to open or opened late on Saturday, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) ruled that some could also open today. However, only some actually opened today and voters were presented with the same bureaucratic and technical […]

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Afghanistan Elections Conundrum (20): Women candidates going against the grain

Jelena Bjelica Rohullah Sorush

On 20 October, more than 400 female candidates will compete for the 68 parliamentary seats reserved for women. Many more women – there are over three million registered female voters – will cast their votes on Saturday, in an attempt to have their say on who represents them in the lower house of the parliament. […]

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Less Rain and Snowfall in Afghanistan: High level of food assistance needed until early 2019

Jelena Bjelica

The Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) has reported that in 22 of Afghanistan’s provinces, cumulative rain and snowfall during the ‘wet season’ – October 2017 to May 2018 – was 30 to 60 per cent below average. The northwest of the country has been particularly hard hit. AAN’s Jelena Bjelica (with input from Obaid Ali […]

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The new counter-narcotics law stipulates that the confiscated drugs can either be converted to medicine or sold to one of the countries that has INCB licence. But, Afghanistan may face many obstacles in implementation of this provision, including a low seizure levels. Photo: Andrew Quilty; Helmand province, 2015.

How to Fight the Booming Opiate Economy? Harsher and progressive laws, but to no avail

Jelena Bjelica

The opiate economy, as measured by the farm-gate value of opium, together with revenues from heroin production and trafficking of opiates to the Afghan borders, has become a crucial component of the Afghan economy, a recently released UNODC socio-economic survey found. This has evolved after years of increasing opium cultivation in the country. But, what […]

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Widespread Violence yet Perpetrators go Unpunished: A new UN report on violence against Afghan women

Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

Violence against women – be it murder, beatings, mutilation, child marriage, the giving away of girls in marriage to resolve disputes (baad) or other harmful practices – remains widespread throughout Afghanistan, despite the government’s efforts to criminalise such practices, the UN has found. Its new report highlights how mediation by government and traditional actors, which […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

The State of Aid and Poverty in 2018: A new look at aid effectiveness in Afghanistan

Thomas Ruttig Jelena Bjelica

Two new reports have found that despite improvements in some sectors, aid delivery in Afghanistan is still largely ineffective and poverty has risen. A joint Oxfam and Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) report on aid effectiveness reveals that while development aid has decreased, donor support continues to be fragmented and aid dependency remains high. Meanwhile, […]

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Coming Home to Kabul: A Mughal art exhibition opens in the cradle of King Babur’s Empire

Jelena Bjelica Kate Clark

The display of 72 paintings from the mid-sixteenth century Mughal period in Kabul as well as late sixteenth and seventeenth century Indian Mughal paintings opened in the Queen’s Pavilion of Babur’s Garden in Kabul on 31 March 2018. This, as well as an earlier exhibition in Herat’s Citadel in December 2017 showcasing fifteenth century Tîmûrid […]

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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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A poster from the Afghanistan Central Registration Authorities’s facebook page, posted in December 2017, which promotes the e-tazkera for good governance. The roll-out of electronic cards in Afghanistan on 15 February 2018, steered a heated political debate. Credit: ACCRA Facebook page.

The E-Tazkera Rift: Yet another political crisis looming?

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica

The roll out of electronic national identity cards, also known as the e-tazkera has begun, heating up a contentious political debate, which had been simmering since 2013. That debate centres on whether the new ID should mention the holder’s ethnicity, and his or her nationality using the term ‘Afghan’ and in particular whether the words […]

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One of the refugee families who returned from Pakistan to Afghanistan in 2017. Last year, some 57,000 people returned. This year, a far bigger, forced exodus is feared. Photo: Andrew Quilty, 2017, Nangrahar.

Still Caught in Regional Tensions? The uncertain destiny of Afghan refugees in Pakistan

Jelena Bjelica Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

As this dispatch was finalised, the Pakistan government had not made any last-minute extension to the ‘Proof of Registration’ identity cards for Afghan refugees residing in the country. Those cards were due to run out on 31 January 2018. Without an extension, a huge number of people could be forced to go back to Afghanistan […]

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The United States and its international allies have pursued various counter-narcotics approaches, centred mainly on eradication and interdiction, since 2001. Here a picture of government-led eradication in Helmand's provincial capital, Lashkar Gah in 2015. The Afghan government’s erdication efforts have been negligible since 2014. Only 3,760 of 183,000 hectares planted with opium poppy have been eradicated in 2015. Credit: Andrew Quilty, 2015.

From Bad to Bombing: US counter-narcotics policies in Afghanistan

Jelena Bjelica

Afghanistan’s opium-driven economy has been a thorn in side of its international backers, and a major challenge for fighting the insurgency and rebuilding a functioning state. Through the lens of the military side of counter-narcotic strategies, the United States and its international allies have pursued various counter-narcotics approaches, centred mainly on eradication and interdiction. However, […]

International Engagement Read more
For the first time, an MP has accused a fellow MP of corruption. The case eventually went to the Attorney General, but only after the vast majority of other MPs voted to give the accused immunity from prosecution. Photo: Pajhwok archive photo.

Lost in Procedure: How a corruption case in the Afghan parliament was (not) dealt with

Jelena Bjelica Rohullah Sorush

The lower house of the Afghan Parliament – the Wolesi Jirga – has a long-standing and unflattering reputation for corruption, which ranges from members of parliament receiving bribes for votes of confidence to arranging lucrative contracts. The latest allegation, however, was the first time that an MP had accused a fellow MP of corruption. This […]

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