Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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

A Troika of Four: Looking back at the March 2021 Afghanistan meeting in Moscow

Thomas Ruttig

The ‘extended troika’ meeting in Moscow on 18 March did not spark a significant new impulse in the search for peace in Afghanistan. Instead, it followed a well-known pattern. Foreign powers offered platitudes about an ‘Afghan-led, Afghan-owned’ peace process, again, while they insist on setting the timeline themselves and handpick those who are to be […]

Regional Relations 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

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

A Tomb in Kabul: The Fate of the Last Amir of Bukhara and his country’s relations with Afghanistan

Thomas Ruttig Vladimir N Plastun

In addition to the last Amir of Bukhara’s former garden, on which we reported some days ago, there is another landmark in Kabul that reminds us of this unlucky ruler – his tomb at the Shuhada-ye Salehin cemetery. The Amir, Muhammad Alem Khan, died in Kabul in 1944 and remains buried in Afghanistan despite his […]

Regional Relations Read more
Tall-hatted Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev opened a ‘Chechen embassy’ in Kabul in 2000. Photo: Natalia Medvedeva (2000)

Chechens in Afghanistan 3 (Flash from the Past): Diplomats, yes, but fighters?

Kate Clark

Following the authoritative account of Chechens – or rather lack of Chechens – in Afghanistan by Christian Bleuer, and how they have frequently been reported on, but rarely encountered, AAN’s Kate Clark here describes her own experiences with Chechens in 2000. In January of that year, she reported on the opening of a Chechen embassy […]

Regional Relations Read more

Little Bridges: AAN’s new report on the slowly growing links between Afghanistan and the Central Asia republics

Christian Bleuer S Reza Kazemi

Reports about Afghanistan and its neighbours to the north usually lump the five former Soviet Central Asia republics together as an undifferentiated block  – ‘the Stans’. Such an approach does not reflect the reality of five countries with very different, mainly bilateral and very local relationships with Afghanistan. The distortion has only been worsened by […]

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A Potential Afghan Spill-Over: How Real Are Central Asian Fears?

S Reza Kazemi

Afghanistan is bracing itself for its transition. Most foreign troops will be gone by 2014 and Afghanistan’s already controversial elections have been fixed for early April that year while peace with the armed opposition remains elusive. Afghan domestic politics aside, how is the transition in Afghanistan perceived in its northern neighbourhood, which is under-explored, compared […]

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Guest Blog: The Quran burnings and the German retreat from Taloqan

Marcel Habler

German authorities announced on Friday, the third day of the Quran burning protests, that they have closed their ISAF base in Taloqan several weeks earlier than planned in response to the protests. Originally, the base had been slated for closure in March. This decision shows the limitations of the assumed international control of particular areas […]

International Engagement Read more

Guest Blog: Afghanistan’s post-2014 relation crisis

Akmal Dawi

As the year 2011 nears its end and analysts all over the world write their end-of-year reviews, Afghan journalist Akmal Dawi discusses Afghanistan’s regional relations. He finds Kabul at odds with many regional capitals, for reasons that are beyond its control, and wonders what kind of hostile post-2014 neighbourhood Afghanistan may find itself in. President […]

Regional Relations Read more

Melons: Afghan riches at the surface level

Fabrizio Foschini

Winter chills are slowly creeping into our sunny Kabul existences. There are few comforts for this, and one is certainly fruit. In this season, oranges, guavas and, above all, pomegranates do a lot to assuage our troubles. AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini and Gran Hewad have also been finding solace in the memory of the bountiful melon […]

Context and Culture Read more

Guest Blog: ‘I have read about it…’ A day of Afghan concerns in Germany

Michael Daxner

In the run-up to the Bonn 2 conference, the debate on Afghanistan is flaring up again in Germany. But not only in Germany, there seem to be two Afghanistans that are discussed. Our guest author Michael Daxner* has looked at one day of this debate, with a conference and radio programme on 4 November, points […]

International Engagement Read more

Afghanistan Conference in Istanbul: The clogged arteries of the ‘Heart of Asia’

Thomas Ruttig

While governments usually try to keep the mood positive in the run-up to important diplomatic conferences, this time they have not even succeeded in doing this. The title of the upcoming regional conference on Afghanistan in Istanbul on 2 November is ambitious title – ‘Istanbul Conference for Afghanistan: Security and Cooperation in the Heart of […]

Regional Relations Read more