Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Jelena Bjelica

People seeking to travel to Europe in a bid to find a better life have been trying the cold Arctic route to get to Norway. Photo: Tolo News

Afghan Exodus: Can the Afghan government deal with more returnees from Europe?

Jelena Bjelica Fazl Rahman Muzhary

In the first nine months of this year, over 5,000 Afghans voluntary returned to Afghanistan from Europe. The recent signing of an agreement between Afghanistan and the European Union to allow deportations of those who have not been accepted as asylum seekers means the numbers of Afghans returning from Europe will rise. AAN’s Jelena Bjelica […]

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EU and Afghanistan Get Deal on Migrants: Disagreements, pressure and last minute politics

Jelena Bjelica

Finally, after a year of negotiations and some last minute hurdles – including on the Afghan side refusals to sign and an attempt to involve parliament – the European Union and Afghanistan have reached a ‘readmission’ agreement on how to return Afghans who have travelled to Europe and failed in their claims for asylum. President […]

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Herat Shorts Festival: The effects of armed conflict on children, seen through a cinematic lens

Jelena Bjelica

What do a 16-year high school student, a middle-aged aviation engineer, a 29-year old tenth-grader in night school and a 45-year old doctor in the Afghanistan National Border Police have in common? Not just that all of them come from the western region (Badghis or Herat), but all of them were also competitors in the first-ever […]

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The closure of the Balkan corridor has left many Afghans stranded and, again, dependent on indifferent and often abusive smuggler networks. (Photo Source: Tolo News)

Afghan Exodus: The re-emergence of smugglers along the Balkan route

Martine van Bijlert Jelena Bjelica

When the Balkan corridor closed in March 2016, Afghans trying to reach Europe found themselves stranded, once again at the mercy of smugglers’ networks. Many are still slowly making their way towards the outer fringes of the European Union at the Serbian-Hungarian border. Almost everyone transits through Belgrade, which has become an important hub for […]

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Afghan and Pakistani migrants make their way to the Serbian-Hungarian border on foot in July 2016, in protest against the worsening conditions in Belgrade and in the hope of being let through. (Photo Source: Info Park)

Afghan Exodus: In transit through Serbia

Martine van Bijlert Jelena Bjelica

The unprecedented flow of people through the Western Balkans in late 2015 and early 2016, and the opening of a humanitarian corridor, provided a brief and unique opportunity for people from war-torn countries to reach the European Union. When the corridor closed in March 2016 many people, including many Afghans, found themselves stranded and, again, […]

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The Balkan Corridor: migrants are getting ready to be transported by bus from Presovo, near the Macedonian border in Serbia, to Croatia. December 2015. Photo by Info Park.

Afghan Exodus: The opening and closing of the Balkan corridor

Martine van Bijlert Jelena Bjelica

In late 2015 and early 2016, the Western Balkans witnessed an unprecedented flow of people through its borders on their way to Europe. For several months a ‘humanitarian corridor’ provided certain nationalities, including Afghans, with transportation to the outer fringes of the European Union. However, Afghans trying to reach Europe now once again find themselves […]

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AAN’s Jelena Bjelica discusses the issue of Afghanistan’s Landless Refugees – July 2016

Jelena Bjelica

More than 5.8 million Afghans, about 20 per cent of Afghanistan’s population, are refugees who have returned home since the fall of the Taleban according to UNHCR figures. Many found their houses destroyed or occupied, or discovered that a new set of laws had scrapped their tenancy rights. The government plan for distributing land to […]

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A Resolute Support team works with ‪officers from the ‪Afghan interior and defence ministries during a simulation exercise looking at the effect of different decisions on the effectiveness and affordability of ​the ANSF in the future. NATO’s Warsaw summit will also be considering funding of ANSF, as well as the deployment of international forces, 8-9 July 2016. (Photo: NATO - Resolute Support Mission, DATE: May 19, 2016)

Afghanistan at the Warsaw Summit: Looking for sustained support (with an 11 July 2016 update)

Jelena Bjelica Kate Clark Martine van Bijlert Sudhansu Verma

On 8 July 2016, in Warsaw, NATO begins a two-day heads of state summit for its member countries. Afghanistan is the first item on the agenda on day two. From an Afghan point of view this is an important event, the means by which Kabul secures funding for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and […]

International Engagement Read more
The TUTAP kerosene lamp memorial in the centre of Bamyan. Photo: Jelena Bjelica.

Power to the People (3): Perspectives from Bamyan

Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

The TUTAP commission established by President Ghani following massive protests recently decided in favour of the Salang route for a north-south power line. The commission ruled further that Bamyan should get its own 220KV power line by 2019. This is a balanced solution in the midst of crisis, meant to temper ethnic tensions that arose […]

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Deciding To Leave Afghanistan (2): The routes and the risks

Jelena Bjelica

AAN has done a series of twelve in-depth interviews with families of Afghans who recently travelled to Europe. The conversations provided a fascinating insight into the practicalities of both the decision making processes and the journey, the complex interplay between economic and security considerations and the mixed feelings families often have once their loved ones […]

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Six convicts sentenced to death were executed by hanging in Pol-e Charkhi prison in Kabul on the morning of 8 May 2016. (Photo Source: Tolonews)

Afghanistan’s Latest Executions: Responding to calls for capital punishment

Ehsan Qaane Jelena Bjelica

On the president’s order, six convicts sentenced to death were executed by hanging in Pol-e Charkhi prison on the morning of 8 May 2016. The executions came after the president’s speech at the joint session of both houses of Parliament on 25 April 2016, in which he announced that the time for unjustified amnesty was […]

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The RTA building in Kabul (Photo Source: Report by DSWCI)

“No Microphone for the President”: Can Radio Television Afghanistan still become a public service broadcaster?

Jelena Bjelica

Turning government-run Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA) into a public service broadcaster, a symbol of a democratic state, has been on the agenda of both donors and the Afghan government since 2002. However, only small, cosmetic changes have so far been made. As a result, many argue that this goal is no longer realistic. The overstaffed, […]

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