Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Martine van Bijlert

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (10): What to watch out for on election day

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica Martine van Bijlert Thomas Ruttig

Past Afghan elections have frequently been bewildering and surreal, even for those following the politics of the country for a long time. With this in mind, and taking into account the recent measures adopted to try to stave off a repeat of the chaos, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig, Martine van Bijlert, Ali Yawar Adili and Jelena […]

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US-Taleban talks: An imminent agreement without peace?

Martine van Bijlert Thomas Ruttig

News coming out of the latest round of US-Taleban negotiations suggest that an agreement is imminent, but that in the desire to meet the White House’s 1 September 2019 deadline, the US have made concessions that may well complicate an actual peace agreement in Afghanistan. It appears that the US have dropped the “nothing is […]

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What Other Peace Processes Can Teach Afghanistan (1): Colombia’s agreement with FARC

Martine van Bijlert

With the renewed focus on possible peace talks in Afghanistan, it is useful to look at what can be learned from processes in other countries. Although they cannot be treated as models, they can serve as examples of what is possible and provide inspiration, ideas and a shared language. In the first dispatch of a […]

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Taleban Attacks on Khas Uruzgan, Jaghori and Malestan (II): A new and violent push into Hazara areas

Ali Yawar Adili Martine van Bijlert

The Taleban attacks on Hazara areas in Uruzgan and Ghazni were unprecedented in their reach and led to massive displacement. The attacks indicated a clear shift in the Taleban’s behaviour towards the Hazara areas, stimulating various hypotheses about their motives. In this second part of a series of two dispatches, AAN’s Ali Yawar Adili and […]

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Taleban Attacks on Khas Uruzgan, Jaghori and Malestan (I): A new and violent push into Hazara areas

Ali Yawar Adili Martine van Bijlert

In late October 2018, the Taleban pushed deeper into Hazara areas than they had ever done before. They first pursued Hakim Shujai, a notorious former Afghan Local Police (ALP) commander, into Malestan, then launched an assault on the district of Jaghori and thereafter attacked Malestan’s district centre, almost resulting in its collapse. The attacks were […]

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Before Election Day Three: Looking at Kandahar’s upcoming vote

Martine van Bijlert

Tomorrow, on 27 October 2018, Kandahar will vote in the country’s parliamentary election – a week later than the rest of the country. The delay comes after the assassination of, among others, the province’s police chief and strongman Abdul Razeq on 18 October 2018. The IEC has tried to remedy the problems that plagued the […]

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Nancy Hatch Dupree’s Last Project: Afghan History Revealed in Photographs

Martine van Bijlert Kate Clark

AAN was due to post this dispatch when we heard the news of the death of the great archivist, historian and advocate for Afghanistan, Nancy Hatch Dupree. The piece looks at Nancy’s last project, the uploading of thousands of historical photographs to the website of the Afghanistan Centre at the Kabul University (ACKU), the successor […]

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The outer walls of the barracks in Belgrade were covered in colourful graffiti, giving the place a surreal feel. The squat, which is now being demolished, housed around a thousand migrants – mainly Afghans and Pakistanis, all men. Belgrade, April 2017. Photo: Martine van Bijlert

The Aftermath of an Exodus: Afghans stuck in Serbia still trying to ‘hit the game’

Martine van Bijlert Jelena Bjelica

For more than six months, the dilapidated barracks behind Belgrade’s main bus station housed over a thousand men and boys – most of them Afghans. Conditions, despite better weather and increased assistance, remained dire and the migrants continued to live under the looming threat of eviction. In May 2017, the authorities finally moved in, vacated […]

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The Aftermath of an Exodus: The Balkans’ old smuggling routes and Europe’s closed borders

Martine van Bijlert Jelena Bjelica

With some borders shared with EU countries that are trying to keep migrants and asylum seekers out, Serbia finds itself increasingly home to people who want to travel onwards but are unable to do so. An estimated eight to ten thousand migrants – most of them Afghans – who intended to travel on to Western […]

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A Black Week in Kabul: Terror and protests

Martine van Bijlert Thomas Ruttig

It has been an incredibly difficult week for Kabul. In four days, over a hundred people were killed and several hundreds injured – most of them in a massive terrorist attack in central Kabul on 31 May 2017. Two days later, as angry protests threatened to become violent, the police opened fire killing and injuring […]

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‘Mother of All Bombs’ Dropped on ISKP: Assessing the aftermath

Borhan Osman Kate Clark Martine van Bijlert

American and Afghan forces have arrived at the site of the massive US bomb blast that targeted a complex of tunnels and caves in Achin, Nangarhar, the stronghold of the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), on 13 April 2017. Journalists and other independent observers have not yet been allowed to enter the area, so information […]

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During the previous elections in Afghanistan, the IEC's temporary electoral staff was hired from the open job market through a process of staggered recruitment. In the next election, according to the new electoral law, the temporary staff will be drawn from among the government's teachers, professors and other employees. Picture: Martine van Bijlert, 2014.

Afghanistan’s Incomplete New Electoral Law: Changes and controversies

Ali Yawar Adili Martine van Bijlert

Afghanistan’s new electoral law has come into force, which means that the requirement of electoral reform ahead of the next elections has – at least nominally – been met. AAN’s Ali Yawar Adili and Martine van Bijlert discuss the main features of the new law and note that the most controversial and complicated changes have been passed on […]

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