Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

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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How to Set up a ‘Good ALP’: The experience of Yahyakhel district, Paktika and how it became more peaceful

Fazl Rahman Muzhary Kate Clark

Yahyakhel district in Paktika province was once as pro-Taleban as it is now pro-government. The turning point came in 2011/2012, with the formation of a tribal militia, which was soon formalised into an Afghan Local Police (ALP) unit. Unlike many other ALP units, it has enjoyed local popular support and control. It has not abused […]

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One Land, Two Rules (1): Service delivery in insurgent-affected areas, an introduction

Kate Clark Jelena Bjelica

The Taleban today control or influence whole swathes of Afghanistan. Estimates of exactly how much vary, but in the vast majority of Afghanistan’s provinces, control is split between government and insurgency. What that means for local people in terms of services usually provided by a state is the subject of a new research project by […]

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The Release of Mullah Baradar: A contribution to the peace effort?

Kate Clark

The Taleban have confirmed to various media that Pakistan has released the most senior member of their movement in detention, Mullah Abdul Ghani, better known as Mullah Baradar (brother). He was arrested in 2010 and held ever since, apparently incommunicado and without charge or trial. Baradar was a founding member of the Taleban and a […]

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A voter in Paktika province being ‘biometrically verified’. Across the country, the new procedure caused problems and delays (Photo: Fazal Muzhary)

Election Day One (Evening Update): Voter determination and technical shambles

AAN Team Kate Clark Thomas Ruttig

In our first update of the day, AAN reported on the mixed turnout – far higher in the cities and other secure places and lower in districts where the Taleban could close roads and prevent voting. Those determined to vote faced not only Taleban violence, but also many technical problems and late-opening polling centres. In […]

Political Landscape Read more

Before Ashura: Extra security measures in place for second year running

Kate Clark

This year, the ten-day commemoration of Muharram by Afghanistan’s Shia Muslims follows a wave of bloody attacks directed against them, most claimed by the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP). In 2017, the government armed and paid guards at some mosques and other religious buildings in an attempt to thwart attacks. Those guards have stayed […]

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Ferocious Attack on ICC: Washington threatens court if it investigates alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan

Kate Clark

President Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, has made a withering attack on the International Criminal Court (ICC), threatening prosecutions against personnel and retaliation against any country cooperating with the Court if it ‘goes after’ America. Bolton’s intervention comes as the judges of the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber weigh up whether or not to authorise a […]

International Engagement Read more

Enemy Number One: How the Taleban deal with the ALP and uprising groups

Borhan Osman Kate Clark

It is one of the few ‘truths’ of the Afghan insurgency that the Taleban hate arbaki– their term for locally-recruited defence forces, primarily the Afghan Local Police and uprising groups.These forces have always been a mixed bag, with some abusing the local population or captured by ethnic, factional or criminal interests. However, especially where they […]

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