Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan Election Conundrum (19): A young ‘wave of change’ for the Wolesi Jirga?

AAN Team Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan’s parliamentary election campaign ended on Wednesday 17 October 2018 with the killing of Helmand candidate Jabbar Qahraman by a mine explosion in his campaign office – the fifth candidate killed during the campaign period. “Taghir” – change – has been a key word in many of the campaigns and a hope expressed by many […]

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10 days 15 hours, 35 minutes and 13 seconds to go: The IEC's count down to the 20 October 2018 parliamentary elections in Afghanistan. Source: Screenshot from the IEC website, at the time of uploading this dispatch

Afghanistan Election Conundrum (16): Basic facts about the parliamentary elections

AAN Team Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has posted a clock on its home page that counts down the time remaining until the 20 October parliamentary election (minus Ghazni province). That’s a nice gag. It would also have been good if a counter had been provided to show, for example, the total number of registered voters (on its […]

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Flash from the Past: Kabul security handed back to Afghans in 2008

Thomas Ruttig

Ten years (and a few weeks) ago, in August 2008, a process started that would later become known as enteqal (transition), namely of security responsibility from NATO to the Afghan forces. (*) This process was supposed to be finalised by the end of 2014. Full troop withdrawal was never fully achieved, though. NATO troops’ “watchful eye […]

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El Borak, N. Ullah and The Way to Turkestan: An AAN Context and Culture Eid Reading List

Thomas Ruttig

After the fighting in Ghazni and the atrocity at the learning centre in Kabul’s Dasht-e Barchi neighbourhood, this is another of these Eid holidays into which many go in a subdued if not even depressed mood. We at AAN share these feelings, and our thoughts are with the relatives of the victims, their friends and […]

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The Afghanistan Election Conundrum (12): Good news and bad news about district numbers

Thomas Ruttig

Afghan authorities have solved one of the most long-standing and consequential problems in the country‘s complex election system: the number of districts. It is 387. This is pending a final decision by parliament, as there are some so-called ‘temporary’ districts that could boost the number. If parliament takes this issue up, however, there is a […]

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Helmand peace marchers in front of the Russian embassy. Photo: People's Peace Movement/2018

“The Eid ceasefire helped our efforts well”: Helmand peace marchers keep up the pressure

Thomas Ruttig Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

Although the Eid ceasefires have been and gone, they have rekindled hopes across Afghanistan that peace is possible. Helmand’s peace movement is keeping up the pressure. It has staged sit-ins in front of embassies in Kabul and sent letters to countries participating in or supporting the war effort. The movement has also reached other parts […]

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Chai ne-khorda, solh ne-mesha. Photo: Thomas Ruttig

Understanding Hurdles to Afghan Peace Talks: Are the Taleban a political party?

Khalilullah Safi Thomas Ruttig

Following his February 2018 offer of peace talks to the Taleban, President Ashraf Ghani proposed that they run as a political party in the upcoming elections. In 2011, his predecessor, Hamed Karzai, had offered something different, that the government would support the Taleban’s recognition by the United Nations Security Council as a “party to the […]

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Why Farah?  A short history of the local insurgency (II)

Thomas Ruttig

The Taleban have been a persistent and growing force in Farah since 2001, rebuilding their strength quietly after the US invasion and then seizing territory in remote districts. Insurgents now challenge pro-government figures for control of valuable trade and smuggling routes, assisted by the disarray among their opponents as the provincial government is hobbled by […]

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Surrounding the Cities: The meaning of the latest battle for Farah (I)

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Obaid Ali Rohullah Sorush Thomas Ruttig

An attack on Farah city had long been feared. For years now, the Taleban have been taking control of the provincial capital’s outlying districts and inching their way towards the central hub. For a few days in mid-May, it looked as though the Taleban were about to take Farah city, which would have been their […]

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Widespread Violence yet Perpetrators go Unpunished: A new UN report on violence against Afghan women

Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

Violence against women – be it murder, beatings, mutilation, child marriage, the giving away of girls in marriage to resolve disputes (baad) or other harmful practices – remains widespread throughout Afghanistan, despite the government’s efforts to criminalise such practices, the UN has found. Its new report highlights how mediation by government and traditional actors, which […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

The Afghanistan Election Conundrum (8): Controversies over voter registration

Ali Yawar Adili Thomas Ruttig

As the Independent Election Commission (IEC) struggles to prepare for parliamentary and district council elections due to be held on 20 October 2018, one key prerequisite – voter registration – is not going well. Registration turnout, so far, has been very low, in part, due to security fears stemming from a new system aimed at […]

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The State of Aid and Poverty in 2018: A new look at aid effectiveness in Afghanistan

Thomas Ruttig Jelena Bjelica

Two new reports have found that despite improvements in some sectors, aid delivery in Afghanistan is still largely ineffective and poverty has risen. A joint Oxfam and Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) report on aid effectiveness reveals that while development aid has decreased, donor support continues to be fragmented and aid dependency remains high. Meanwhile, […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more