Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

Freed at Last: Three Afghans sent to Guantanamo in 2002 and 2003 are finally home

Kate Clark

Three Afghans, who were detained and rendered to the US detention camp in Guantanamo Bay in 2002 and 2003, and then transferred to the United Arab Emirates 2016 and what turned out to be further incarceration, have been released. Obaidullah and Mohammed Karim from Khost and Hamidullah from Kabul have also been allowed to return […]

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Presidential Pardons: Trump sets his seal on a record of US impunity in Afghanistan

Kate Clark

Donald Trump has given a presidential pardon to three members of the American military for crimes they were accused or convicted of carrying out while on service in Afghanistan or Iraq. The pardons have raised questions as to whether there will be consequences for US behaviour on the battlefield and possibly also at the International […]

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A Maelstrom of Militias: Takhar, a case study of strongmen co-opting the ALP

Kate Clark

When the Ministry of Interior officials and human rights activists are asked where the worst Afghan Local Police (ALP) are, Takhar province is usually on the list. The reasons given are the enduring power of local strongmen over the force and the involvement of ALP units in crime, especially drug smuggling, and abuses of the […]

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Part of the compound of Naim Faruki, who was killed on 30 December 2018 in Zurmat, Paktia, allegedly by the Khost Protection Force. His brother described how, before the strike force entered, the compound wall was detonated by a bomb or a rocket - the family was not sure.

CIA-backed Afghan paramilitaries accused of grave abuses: new Human Rights Watch report

Kate Clark

Human Rights Watch has released a hard-hitting report about CIA-backed Afghan paramilitaries which documents their alleged involvement in extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and attacks on medical facilities. The report also details changes in the United States targeting rules which, Human Rights Watch says, have led to indiscriminate airstrikes being called in by these forces, causing […]

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Trump Ends Talks with the Taleban: What happens next?

Kate Clark

United States president Donald Trump has called off talks with the Taleban and cancelled signing of an agreement with them. The trigger, he said, was a suicide bomb which killed one US soldier and “11 other people” carried out “seemingly [to] strengthen their bargaining position.” However, voices against the ‘agreement in principle’ deal had already […]

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The End of the Jirga: Strong Words and Not Much Controversy

Kate Clark Ali Yawar Adili Ehsan Qaane

The Consultative Peace Loya Jirga has ended in Kabul with reports back from the fifty committees of delegates, a speech from President Ghani and a communiqué which he said is now the government’s ‘roadmap’. Key points emerging from the jirga were calls for an ‘intra-Afghan’ dialogue with the Afghan government in charge, for a ceasefire and […]

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Better, But Still Bad: UNAMA releases new report on the torture of security detainees

Kate Clark

UNAMA has released its latest two-yearly report on the treatment of conflict-related detainees in Afghanistan and finds perpetrators of torture in the Afghan National Security Forces are still enjoying immunity from punishment. Overall rates are down, especially in the Afghan intelligence agency, the NDS, but the proportion of those detained giving credible accounts of torture […]

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An injured man uses a piece of timber as a crutch to try to get away from the scene of one of the worst attacks since 2001. The Taleban said they were targeting the Ministry of Interior buildings in Kabul. Using a van painted to look like an ambulance, the suicide attack killed 114 civilians, and injured 229 more. Such intentional killing of civilians by Taleban is one of the crimes the ICC Prosecutor had wanted to investigate. (Photo: Andrew Quilty, 2018)

ICC rejects war crimes investigation in Afghanistan: Continuing impunity for perpetrators, no voice yet for victims

Kate Clark

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has decided not to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity that have allegedly taken place on Afghan soil. The Court’s Chief Prosecutor, after finding that there was evidence of the Taleban committing a range of crimes, including murder and intentionally attacking civilians, and of Afghan government forces and the […]

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The front page of UNAMA’s 2018 report into the protection of civilians shows a group of journalists and first responders caught in a suicide attack in downtown Kabul on 30 April 2018. They had arrived at the scene of an earlier blast when a suicide attacker posing as a journalist detonated another explosive device. Nine journalists were killed and six injured. ISKP claimed responsibility for both attacks, which together killed 21 civilians and injured 42 others, including four children. (Photo: Omar Sobhani /Reuters)

Record Numbers of Civilian Casualties Overall, from Suicide Attacks and Air Strikes: UNAMA reports on the conflict in 2018

Kate Clark

The downturn in civilian casualties recorded in 2017 has reversed. UNAMA, in its 2018 Annual Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Afghanistan, released today, records almost 11,000 civilians injured or killed in 2018, a five per cent increase compared to 2017. It is the highest number of civilian casualties on record. […]

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One of two cars the family said the Khost Protection Force burned during their attack.

Khost Protection Force Accused of Fresh Killings: Six men shot dead in Zurmat

Kate Clark

There has been a fresh attack on civilians by armed men whom the victims’ family and the Paktia provincial governor’s spokesman have said were from the Khost Protection Force, an irregular militia supported by the CIA. A survivor of the attack carried out in Surkai village in Zurmat district, in Paktia province, described to AAN […]

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The Afghan Territorial Force: Learning from the lessons of the past?

Kate Clark

A new local defence force is being mobilised in Afghanistan. The establishment of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force was announced by President Ashraf Ghani in April 2018. Careful consideration has gone into its design, with safeguards built in to try to avoid the pitfalls associated with previous locally-recruited forces, such as the Afghan Local […]

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AAN’s most-read dispatches in 2018: So much war… and a little peace and justice

Kate Clark

Here at AAN, we have been looking back at what we published in 2018, in English and Dari and Pashto. We have also been considering what you, dear readers, have been most interested in. Compiling the list of our most-read dispatches in 2018 was a sobering task, says AAN Co-Director, Kate Clark (with data from […]

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