Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Martine van Bijlert

The Balkan Corridor: migrants are getting ready to be transported by bus from Presovo, near the Macedonian border in Serbia, to Croatia. December 2015. Photo by Info Park.

Afghan Exodus: The opening and closing of the Balkan corridor

Martine van Bijlert Jelena Bjelica

In late 2015 and early 2016, the Western Balkans witnessed an unprecedented flow of people through its borders on their way to Europe. For several months a ‘humanitarian corridor’ provided certain nationalities, including Afghans, with transportation to the outer fringes of the European Union. However, Afghans trying to reach Europe now once again find themselves […]

Migration Read more
A Resolute Support team works with ‪officers from the ‪Afghan interior and defence ministries during a simulation exercise looking at the effect of different decisions on the effectiveness and affordability of ​the ANSF in the future. NATO’s Warsaw summit will also be considering funding of ANSF, as well as the deployment of international forces, 8-9 July 2016. (Photo: NATO - Resolute Support Mission, DATE: May 19, 2016)

Afghanistan at the Warsaw Summit: Looking for sustained support (with an 11 July 2016 update)

Martine van Bijlert Sudhansu Verma Kate Clark Jelena Bjelica

On 8 July 2016, in Warsaw, NATO begins a two-day heads of state summit for its member countries. Afghanistan is the first item on the agenda on day two. From an Afghan point of view this is an important event, the means by which Kabul secures funding for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and […]

International Engagement Read more

Pushing the Parliament to Accept a Decree: Another Election without Reform?

Martine van Bijlert Ali Yawar Adili

Afghanistan’s electoral reform process, that was supposed to be a precondition for the next ballot, has been excruciatingly slow and has culminated in a watered-down version of its original mandate. The delays mean that it has by now become practically impossible to hold elections this year. The presidential palace, however, continues to insist that both elections […]

Political Landscape Read more
The signing of the National Unity Government political agreement by Dr Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani took place at the Presidential Palace on 21 September 2014 in the presence of Afghanistan's key political figures, government officials and members of the campaign teams of both candidates. (Photo Source: Tolo News 2014)

When The Political Agreement Runs Out: On the future of Afghanistan’s National Unity Government

Martine van Bijlert Ali Yawar Adili

The National Unity Government (NUG), which was created to solve the impasse caused by the bitterly disputed 2014 presidential elections, has come under intense criticism for a wide range of real and perceived failures. Its position has also been called into question by uncertainty over whether, based on the text of the political agreement, its […]

Political Landscape Read more
HIG leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Photo: website of Shahadat daily.

Almost Signed? The peace agreement with Hezb-e Islami

Thomas Ruttig Martine van Bijlert

On 18 May 2016, two delegations representing respectively the insurgent faction of Hezb-e Islami-ye Afghanistan and the Afghan High Peace Council (HPC) initialled a draft peace agreement that should end Hezb’s armed struggle. The status of the document – and whether it may still be subject to changes – is not fully clear, but there is […]

War and Peace Read more
Afghan refugees in Germany are concerned about their asylum application status; here a group of new arrivals is led to the registration centre in Munich in December 2015 (Source Tolonews).

Deciding to Leave Afghanistan (3): What happens after arrival in Europe

Martine van Bijlert

AAN has done a series of twelve in-depth interviews with families of Afghans who recently travelled to Europe. The conversations provided a fascinating insight into the practicalities of both the decision making processes and the journey, the complex interplay between economic and security considerations and the mixed feelings families often have once their loved ones […]

Migration Read more

Ghani’s Speech to the Parliament: A hardening position on war, peace and Pakistan

Martine van Bijlert

President Ghani’s speech to the Afghan parliament, in an extraordinary joint session on 25 April 2016, was unprecedented. Made in response to demands that he clarify the government’s security policies, the televised speech was sober and dignified, and detailed the government’s hardening stance against Pakistan, the Haqqani network, Daesh and “parts of the Taleban.” Although, […]

War and Peace Read more
Security forces cordoned off the area along the bank of the Kabul River immediately after the attack allowing only ambulances to pass through the barriers. (Photo Source: Tolo News 19 April 2016)

A Shaken City: On the Taleban‘s truck-bomb attack in Kabul

Martine van Bijlert

The explosion which shook Kabul on 19 April 2016 was so large  its reverberation could be felt throughout almost the entire city. All that day, and the next, the death toll continued to rise. Official figures currently stand at 68 killed and 347 injured, but the real numbers are likely to be higher. The scale of the […]

War and Peace Read more

External Publication: Afghanistan’s Post-Liberal Peace: between external intervention and local efforts

Martine van Bijlert

In: “​ Post-Liberal Peace Transitions Between Peace Formation and State Formation”​, Oliver P. Richmond, Sandra Pogodda (eds), Edinburgh University Press Publication date: January 2016

External publications Read more
Sample of E-Tazkera (Source: Pajhwok)

The Troubled History of the E-tazkera (Part 2): Technical stumbling blocks

Martine van Bijlert Jelena Bjelica

The introduction of electronic ID cards – or e-tazkera – in Afghanistan remains haunted by delays, obstacles and poor planning. Although CEO Dr Abdullah approved the e-tazkera pilot phase on 3 August 2015, the process has yet to begin. Since then, President Ghani has questioned the very feasibility of this oft-delayed project, while main donors […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
Protest in eastern Nangarhar province in September 2015 for inclusion of words of Afghan and Islam in new electronic national identity cards. (Pajhwok/Zeerak Fahim)

The Troubled History of the E-tazkera (Part 1): Political upheaval

Martine van Bijlert Jelena Bjelica

There is a fairly broad consensus among Afghans and donors alike that the introduction of an electronic ID card – or e-tazkera – would be a good thing; it would provide accurate population data, standardised ID documents and the possibility of, in the case of elections, drawing up reliable voter lists. The project, however, has […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

The IEC Announces 2016 Election Date – but what about electoral reform?

Martine van Bijlert

In a brief press conference on Monday 18 January 2016, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced the date for Afghanistan’s next vote: 15 October 2016. But the preparations for the elections – for the lower house of parliament and, for the first time, district councils – are complicated by ongoing controversies over the legitimacy of the […]

Political Landscape Read more