Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Martine van Bijlert

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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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 […]

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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)

Jelena Bjelica Kate Clark Martine van Bijlert Sudhansu Verma

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 […]

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

Ali Yawar Adili Martine van Bijlert

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 […]

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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 […]

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HIG leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Photo: website of Shahadat daily.

Almost Signed? The peace agreement with Hezb-e Islami

Martine van Bijlert Thomas Ruttig

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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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