Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Thomas Ruttig

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 […]

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AAN Reads: An Afghanistan history covering 750 years

Thomas Ruttig

Eminent Afghanistan specialists and historians have praised Jonathan L Lee’s 2018 Afghanistan: a history from 1260 to the present as “detailed research of the highest quality” and even the new go-to “encyclopaedia” on this subject. It is indeed encyclopaedic, pulling interesting episodes out of the dark of Afghan history, but still, it is partly disappointing, […]

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A Turning Point in World History: 40 years ago, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan

Thomas Ruttig

Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan 40 years ago today, on 25 December 1979. Two days later, on 27 December, they toppled and killed Amin’s Khalqi’s government which had called for the troops and had assumed they had come for their rescue. The resulting occupation that would last for more than ten years became the last direct […]

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BVV devices that have arrived in IEC’s Warehouse 3 in Kabul. They will be checked and then sent to IEC headquarters for their data to be transferred to the IEC server. Photo: Ali Yawar Adili, 3 October 2019

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (21): BVV devices and a delay in announcing preliminary results

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has completed the transfer of data from the biometric devices to its central server. Those 1,932,673 votes now need to be gone through using a verification process to weed out duplicate, underage and ‘photo-proxy’ votes. Only then, will the IEC know the final number of biometrically-validated votes. It has also, […]

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Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (20): Even lower turnout figures

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has published the first turnout figures which are backed up by biometric voter data. After weeks of ever greater turnout figures being successively announced, this latest update has reversed the trend: the IEC is now saying only 1.7 million ‘BVVed votes’ were cast, a decrease in reported turnout of almost one […]

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Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (19): An ambiguous picture of E-day civilian casualties

Thomas Ruttig

The latest UNAMA report and other figures paint a mixed picture of the level of violence Afghanistan experienced on election day. On one hand, the day remained calmer than many feared, without the massive terror attacks threatened by the Taleban. On the other hand, 28 September was the second-most violent election day the country has ever […]

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AAN contributes to book on “Education and Development in Afghanistan”

Thomas Ruttig

After years of military interventions, the current situation in Afghanistan is highly ambivalent and partially contradictory – especially regarding the interplay of development, peace, security, education, and economy. Despite numerous initiatives, Afghanistan is still confronted with a poor security and economic condition. This volume investigates the tension between these ambivalent developments. Sociologists, political and cultural […]

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Counting the vote in Bamyan city in Afghanstan’s fourth presidential elections (Photo: Ali Yawar Adili 2019)

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (11): A first look at how E-Day went

Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

The Independent Election Commission has given its first rough estimation of turnout in Afghanistan’s 2019 Presidential Elections. It was low, with fewer than two million voters out of 9.66 million registered, about a quarter, coming out to vote. The Taleban only managed to conduct one large-scale attack, in Kandahar city, but committed 400 other, mainly […]

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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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Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (9): Presidential poll primer

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

After two delays and the cancelation of a peace deal which might have scuppered the poll altogether, Afghanistan’s presidential election is finally to happen, on Saturday 28 September. It will be the country’s fourth presidential election and seventh election in total since 2001. In this primer, AAN’s Ali Yawar Adili, Jelena Bjelica and Thomas Ruttig […]

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On the first day of the election campaign, only two (Ghani and Atmar) out of 18 candidates put up their pictures and posters along Darul Aman Road, a major road in Kabul. Atmar's election ticket has disintegrated since then. Photo: Ali Yawar Adili, 28 July 2019

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (7): Dithering over peace amid a lacklustre campaign

Ali Yawar Adili Thomas Ruttig

One ticket has fallen apart and one candidate has withdrawn his candidacy in favour of another. This has reduced the number of presidential candidates from 18 to 16 and left the two incumbents, President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr Abdullah, as the main contenders in the race. In this piece, AAN’s Ali Yawar Adili […]

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Taleban attacks on Kunduz and Pul-e Khumri: Symbolic operations

Obaid Ali Thomas Ruttig

In the last week Taleban have attacked and entered three provincial centres, Kunduz city, Pul-e Khumri in Baghlan and Farah city, before being pushed back. This dispatch focusses on the offensives against Pul-e Khumri and Kunduz, considering them in the context of the regional security of northeastern Afghanistan. It finds that key lessons from earlier […]

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