Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

Highest Civilian Casualty Figures Ever: UNAMA details deaths by mortar, IED, suicide attack and targeted killing

Kate Clark

UNAMA has published its mid-year assessment of the harm done to civilians by the warring parties in Afghanistan (full report here): the number of civilians killed and injured has risen again. There were 4921 civilian casualties, the highest number for the first half of any year since UNAMA started documenting them. 70 per cent were […]

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Protecting Beauty: Shah Foladi – a new conservation area for Afghanistan

Kate Clark

Afghanistan has a new protected conservation area – the Shah Foladi: 2,700 square kilometres on the north side of the Koh-e Baba range of the Hindu Kush in Bamyan province. This mix of irrigated valleys, upland rangeland and high peaks is important for wildlife (270 species of birds, including many seasonal migrants, and many flowering […]

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Banning the Banned from Travel: Taleban Five still in Qatar

Kate Clark

There has been a spate of stories about the end of the travel ban on the five Taleban detainees released from Guantanamo Bay a year ago and exchanged for the United States soldier Bowe Bergdahl. US politicians and media have been speculating on what impact the five might have on the insurgency if they came […]

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Portrait picture of Masum Stanakzai, nominated as minister of defense.

Stanakzai Goes from Peace to War: For Afghanistan, finally a defence minister?

Kate Clark

The national unity government is making its fourth attempt to appoint a minister of defence. On 24 May 2015, the presidential palace announced the nomination of Masum Stanakzai who has been the head of the Joint Secretariat of the High Peace Council and Afghanistan Peace and Reconciliation Programme since 2009. Members of Parliament will still need […]

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Police Treated With Kid Gloves: The many flaws of the Farkhunda trial

Ehsan Qaane Kate Clark

An Afghan court has found 11 policemen guilty of dereliction of duty for failing to prevent the murder of religious student Farkhunda by a mob in the centre of Kabul on 19 March 2015. They were all sentenced to one year, the absolute minimum, which means also they may not have to go to jail […]

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The Park Palace Attack: More losses for Afghanistan (updated with a list of the dead)

Kate Clark

The Taleban attack on a Kabul guesthouse which killed 15 people (not 14, as earlier reports said) on 13 May 2015 was aimed, the Taleban claimed, at “invaders”, specifically an “important meeting” of “important people from many invading countries, especially Americans.” In this update of our earlier dispatch, AAN’s Kate Clark identifies all the dead: […]

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First wave of IS attacks? Claim and denial over the Jalalabad bombs

Borhan Osman Kate Clark

The suicide attack on the Kabul Bank in Jalalabad on 18 April 2015, which killed more than 30 people and injured at least 100 others, was condemned by the Taleban and claimed by the Islamic State (IS), or at least by a Facebook site purporting to represent IS, also known as Daesh. President Ashraf Ghani also […]

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Picture shows candidate ministers sitting in Parliament.

Afghanistan (almost) has a cabinet: MPs confirm all candidate ministers

Kate Clark

Members of parliament have endorsed all sixteen candidates put forward by Afghanistan’s national unity government. This means that, six months into its term, the country has an almost complete cabinet – only the defence minister is still missing. This is the MPs’ second such vote. The first, on 28 January 2015, saw only a third […]

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Photographer in Jail: An example of arbitrary Afghan ‘justice’

Ehsan Qaane Kate Clark

President Ghani’s spokesman has told AAN that jailed Afghan photographer Najib Musafer will be released from Pul-e Charkhi, although he gave no date. Musafer took a photograph of girls parading in an Education Day ceremony seven years ago and sold it to a production company which turned it into an image advertising Etisalat telephones. One […]

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The remainders of the US' foreign detainees in Bagram: two Tunisians, two Tajiks, one Egyptian, and one Uzbek. (The photo shows other prisoners.) Photo: Khaama Press

The ‘Other Guantanamo’ (13): What should Afghanistan do with America’s foreign detainees?

Kate Clark

The United States bequeathed Afghanistan a huge problem when it finally and completely transferred its detention facility at Bagram to the Afghan government in December 2014. For the previous 12 months, it had been urgently trying to get rid of all of the 50 or so foreigners it held there. In the end, it failed […]

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“An attempt to wipe out history”: The destruction of the Bamian Buddha colossi in 2001

Kate Clark Thomas Ruttig

On 26 February 2001, the leader of the Afghan Taleban movement, Mullah Muhammad Omar, ordered from his headquarters in Kandahar that “all statues and non-Islamic shrines in the different areas of the Islamic Emirate must be broken” because they were worshipped by people of non-Islamic religious beliefs and were therefore ‘idols.’ This kind of worship, […]

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"Torture tarnishes the image of the state." Photo: ToloNews.

Because of Impunity: UN reports Afghan forces still torturing Afghans

Kate Clark

It is two years since UNAMA last reported on torture by Afghan security forces of detainees suspected of conflict-related crimes. In the wake of its 2013 report, former President Karzai was stung into investigating the matter and instituted steps to try to root torture out. ISAF also strengthened its monitoring of detainees it transferred to […]

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