Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Thomas Ruttig

A Threat at Kabul’s Southern Gate: A security overview of Logar province

Thomas Ruttig Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

Logar – a strategic province at the southern gate of the capital Kabul – has been among Afghanistan’s most insecure provinces for years. The government only controls parts of three of its seven districts, in some cases not much more than (parts of) the district centre. This provides the Taleban positions closer to the capital […]

War and Peace Read more

Citizens, Finally, But No Place to Settle: The Magats, one of Afghanistan’s most marginalised minorities

Khadija Hossaini Thomas Ruttig

The Magats – a small ethnic group most frequently called ‘Jogi’ by others, a term often considered derogatory by them – have been living in Afghanistan for more than a century. Until recently, they were stateless but have now started a struggle for legal recognition and acknowledgement of their identity. The first successes, such as registration […]

Context and Culture Read more

Between Professionalism and Accommodation: The slow progress on the new cabinet

Ali Yawar Adili Thomas Ruttig

More than three months after the inauguration of President Ashraf Ghani, a cabinet has not yet been formed. The appointments were delayed and disrupted by the dispute about the election outcome and the ensuing standoff, which had beset the country for more than two months. However, almost a month after the impasse was resolved, Ghani […]

Political Landscape Read more

The case of Mawlawi Mehdi and Balkhab District: Are the Taleban attracting Hazaras?

Thomas Ruttig

Recently, a story appeared in the media reporting that the Taleban have appointed a Shia Hazara as a shadow district governor in Sar-e Pul province. This ethno-religious group is barely represented in the insurgent movement, and stands in the way of the Taleban’s attempt to present itself as nation-wide. Mehdi, however, is not physically present […]

War and Peace Read more

Flash from the Past: The 1950 Kabul Students Union and its impact on the post-WWII opposition movement

Thomas Ruttig

70 years ago, on 4 April 1950, the first students’ organisation in Afghanistan’s history was launched. The Students Union of Kabul University started as an attempt by factions in the government to gain control over a small, but enthusiastic group of activists and instrumentalise it for their own interests. This attempt backfired, and the Union […]

Context and Culture Read more

Covid-19 in Afghanistan (1): No large outbreak yet in the country

Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan has so far been moderately affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with fewer than 100 people testing positive and four confirmed fatalities. There are strong indications that these cases may have been seeded by the outbreak in neighbouring Iran, via Afghans who returned from that country. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig has compiled an overview of what […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

From Doha to Peace? Obstacles rising in the way of intra-Afghan talks

Thomas Ruttig

Two key documents to get an Afghan peace process started have been signed: the Doha “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” and a simultaneous bilateral United States-Afghan declaration. The two documents together are supposed to open the door for intra-Afghan peace talks, ie between the Taleban and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on 10 March. […]

War and Peace Read more

Afghanistan’s 2019 Elections (30): Final results… and parallel governments?

Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan’s 28 September 2019 presidential election has finally meandered to what may be its end after almost five months, with the Independent Election Commission (IEC) declaring incumbent Ashraf Ghani the first-round winner. However, the result is too narrow and disputed, and the manner of dealing with complaints not transparent enough to quash doubts in his […]

Political Landscape Read more

First Breakthrough Toward Peace? A look at the seven-day ‘reduction of violence’

Thomas Ruttig

The United States and the Taleban have agreed to reduce violence for seven days, an agreement which would also apply to the Afghan government forces. While not a full ceasefire, it would be a ‘test’ of the seriousness of the parties before the signing of a bilateral deal agreeing the withdrawal of US troops, Taleban […]

War and Peace Read more

Still Ifs and Whens: The US and the Taleban inch toward a bilateral agreement

Thomas Ruttig

There have been increasing indications over the past few days that the United States and the Taleban are edging toward an agreement – or possibly two. While a declaration of a mutual ‘reduction of violence’ seems imminent, a bilateral US-Taleban agreement opening the way to peace negotiations between the Afghan parties to the conflict appears […]

War and Peace Read more

US-Taleban Agreement Still in the Air: Disputes about a ‘ceasefire’ versus ‘reduction of violence’

Thomas Ruttig

Over the past few weeks, the Taleban first stoked expectations that an agreement with the United States was imminent, and then expressed frustration that it was not yet signed. They had appeared to be trying to edge forward to an agreement by offering to “scale down military operations” against both US and Afghan troops – […]

War and Peace Read more

AAN Obituary: Unfaltering women’s rights activist Soraya Parlika (1944-2019)

Thomas Ruttig

Soraya Parlika, political and women’s rights activist, has died at the age of 75. She had, said Sahraa Karimi, Chair of the Afghan Film Organisation, who made a documentary about Parlika, “dedicated her life to the life of women of Afghanistan and never left her motherland even during the hard years of civil war and […]

Political Landscape Read more