Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan (Konfliktporträt)

Thomas Ruttig

Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 18 December 2017 The latest version of the bi-annually updated portrait of the Afghan conflict by AAN’s Thomas Ruttig on this encyclopaedial website which is designed to inform teacher and pupils, particularly (in German). Go to the text here.

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Narges Nehan, President Ghani's nominee for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, was the only one among twelve minister candidates who was denied a vote of confidence by the Afghan lower house on 6 December 2017. Here, when she was introduced as acting minister in March 2017. Photo: ToloNews

Afghanistan Has Now a Constitutional Cabinet: Eleven minister candidates received votes of confidence

AAN Team Thomas Ruttig

For almost a year, more than half of Afghanistan’s cabinet members were in an acting minister capacity only, putting their legitimacy into question. In late November 2017, the President finally had 12 minister candidates introduced to parliament. They faced votes of confidence on 4 December 2017. All but one – the only woman – passed. […]

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Hezb-e Islami leader Hekmatyar is received in Kabul's presidential palace by President Ashraf Ghani and his predecessor Hamed Karzai in May 2017. Photo: Tolo

A Matter of Registration: Factional tensions in Hezb-e Islami

Thomas Ruttig

Hezb-e Islami has run into a legal conflict over registration. This hampers efforts to re-unite the party’s various factions after the return of its ‘historical’ leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and in the run-up to the elections planned for 2018. It also reflects internal dynamics between a more pragmatic wing of Hezb-e Islami, which is participating in […]

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New external publication: Conflict Portrait Afghanistan (at PRIO Oslo)

Thomas Ruttig

Renowned Oslo-based Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO, go to website here) has published an updated version of Thomas Ruttig’s “Conflict Portrait: Afghanistan” that, in turn, had come out (then in German) at the German Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Federal Centre for Political Education), a main web-based collection of information for teachers, students and the general public, […]

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Damage to the Paktia police and army headquarters in Gardez after the first Taleban attack in June 2017. Photo: Tolo.

The ‘Humvee Bomb’ Series: The October wave of Taleban attacks in 2017 context

Thomas Ruttig

In October 2017, Afghans experienced another particularly violent period. A series of high-profile insurgent attacks took place almost simultaneously in Kabul and five provinces. Provincial and district centres were targeted, as well as ANSF installations and Sunni and Shia mosques. The overall number of people killed in these attacks is estimated to be over 200, […]

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Bracing for Attacks on Ashura: Extra security measures for Shia mourners

AAN Team Thomas Ruttig

The Afghan government is arming local civilians and strengthening the police presence across the country to try to protect Shia Muslim places of worship in the run-up to Ashura. The commemoration will take place this Sunday (1 October 2017). With these last-minute measures, the government is reacting to demands from the community and criticism that […]

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The Ghost of Najibullah: Hezb-e Watan announces (another) relaunch

Thomas Ruttig Ali Yawar Adili

A new attempt is underway to relaunch Hezb-e Watan, the ruling party that was revamped by President Najibullah in 1990 when he renamed the PDPA and tried to shed it’s communist past. Although the intention is to bring together an important segment of the former leftist forces in Afghanistan, the relaunch also has the potential […]

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At the End of a Long Curve: The fall of Janikhel

Fazl Rahman Muzhary Thomas Ruttig

The temporary capture of Janikhel district centre by Taleban forces in late July 2017 stands out in the relatively static, mountainous and geographically and tribally fractured region of eastern Paktia and Khost. There, most district centres continue to be in government hands, while many areas outside of them are more or less under Taleban control. […]

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From the right Salahuddin Rabbani (acting Chairman of Jamiat and Foreign Minister), Muhammad Mohaqeq (leader of Hezb-e Wahdat Mardom and Deputy Chief Executive), Atta Muhammad Nur (Balkh Governor and Chief Executive of Jamiat), General Abdul Rashid Dostum (first Vice-President and leader of Jombesh-e Milli) and Muhammad Nateqi (Deputy of Wahdat-e Mardom) formed a political coalition on 30 June 2017 called the “Etelaf baray Nejat-e Afghanistan (Coalition for the Salvation of Afghanistan),” in Ankara, Turkey. Photo: Atta Muhammad Nur's Facebook

The ‘Ankara Coalition’: Opposition from within the government

Ali Yawar Adili Thomas Ruttig

Over the past two years, the National Unity Government (NUG) has been challenged by internal power struggles, protest movements and now an ‘opposition’ coalition made up of influential officials from within. It is the first time, however, that leaders of three mainstream political parties from three major ethnic groups have joined forces – at least […]

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Defying Dostum: A new Jombesh and the struggle for leadership over Afghanistan’s Uzbeks

Thomas Ruttig

After years of attempts at inner-party reform, dissidents of Jombesh, one of Afghanistan’s major political parties, have given up. They have left and created a new party; not very surprisingly it is called the “New Jombesh.” The recent departure to Turkey – officially for ‘medical treatment’ – by ‘old’ Jombesh leader (and First Vice President) […]

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UNAMA Mid-Year Report 2017: Number of civilian casualties still at “record level”

Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

The number of civilians in the war in Afghanistan remained on “record high levels” in the first six months of 2017, with Kabul remaining the most affected city in the country. These are the two main features that stand out in UNAMA’s just released mid-year report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. It […]

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A Black Week in Kabul: Terror and protests

Martine van Bijlert Thomas Ruttig

It has been an incredibly difficult week for Kabul. In four days, over a hundred people were killed and several hundreds injured – most of them in a massive terrorist attack in central Kabul on 31 May 2017. Two days later, as angry protests threatened to become violent, the police opened fire killing and injuring […]

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