Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Martine van Bijlert

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 […]

Political Landscape Read more
constituencies - two complicated and politically fraught tasks. Photo: Martine van Bijlert

Update on Afghanistan’s Electoral Process: Electoral deadlock broken – for now

Ali Yawar Adili Martine van Bijlert

Afghanistan’s electoral reform process, a major part of the National Unity Government’s programme, has been slow and painful with its high stakes and divided government positions. But over the last few months two significant hurdles have been taken: the new electoral law has finally been passed, and the new electoral commissions have been appointed. Although […]

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Afghan Exodus: Notes from a Belgrade squat

Martine van Bijlert Jelena Bjelica

The number of migrants, many of them Afghan, in Serbia has been steadily growing in the second half of 2016. More people continue to arrive, while departures have largely stagnated due to Hungary and Croatia tightening their border controls. As a result, Serbia is faced with a growing number of people on its soil who […]

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Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah

Afghanistan’s National Unity Government Rift (2): The problems that will not go away

Martine van Bijlert

The recent public argument between Chief Executive Abdullah and President Ghani is more than an argument over appointments, management styles or how far government reforms should go. The core of the rift lies in the different views both sides have on why the National Unity Government (NUG) came into being and what this means for […]

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Afghanistan’s National Unity Government Rift (1): Crisis averted (for now), back to appointing commissions

Ali Yawar Adili Lenny Linke Martine van Bijlert

Just weeks before the upcoming donor conference in Brussels on 5 October 2016, the two leaders of Afghanistan’s National Unity Government (NUG) erupted into a fierce, public argument. Chief Executive Abdullah accused President Ghani of unilateralism and called him “unfit” for his office; the president hit back implying that the rival camp was merely trying […]

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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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