Rural Afghans turn against Taliban, eke out own fight

USA Today, 18 January 2013 This report about the anti-Taleban ‘uprising’ in Andar district quotes researcher Emal Habib who has investigated these developments for AAN that leaders of the uprising are guilty of committing their own abuses against villagers: ‘So far, these guys are not well-structured and have rivalries within the movement.’ He says locals […]

US halts Afghan prisoner transfers over torture concerns, report says

Stars and Stripes, 17 January 2013 In this report about another glitch in US-Afghan relations over prisoners, AAN’s Kate Clark is quoted as calling Afghan officials’ claims that allegations of torture in the country’s prisons are wrong, as not credible. She adds that ‘It looks like something has gone wrong with the ISAF program to […]

Europa und Mali: ‘Jenseits’ des Krieges?

Stimme Russlands (Russian radio), 16 January 2013 Asked about a comparison between Afghanistan and Mali, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig declined, but added that he was ‘surprised’ that French politicians, after their troops’ Afghanistan experience, were surprised about their Malian enemies’ training and fighting capability.

Viele Afghanen kehren ihrem Land schon jetzt den Rücken

Tageszeitung (Berlin), 15 January 2013 AAN’s Thomas Ruttig summarises – picking up Afghan media reports- cases of Afghan diplomats, officials, journalists, sportsmen and students not returning to Afghanistan from abroad, rising numbers of Aghan asylum seekers in western countries, the Hindu and Sikh minorities’ wish to leave the country and first cases of activists fleeing […]

Reed flute and gunpowder: Understanding the Afghan Taliban through their poetry

Himal (Kathmandu), 14 January 2013 A review by AAN’s Thomas Ruttig of ‘The Poetry of the Taliban’, edited Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn (London: Hachette, 2012). He finds similarities with pre-war poetry, both in style and subject, and calls the anthology ‘not only a remarkable literary and sociological project but also a reminder […]

Legenden und Sagen vom Hindukusch

Stimme Russlands (Russia), 11 January 2013 The German service of Russian radio quotes AAN’s Thomas Ruttig on the role of ISAF forces: ‘Die westlichen Truppen sind einerseits stabilisierend – auch in den Augen des großen Teils der afghanischen Bevölkerung. Sie sind aber auch ein destabilisierender Faktor, denn sie werden auch weiterhin ein Angriffsziel bleiben. Die […]

Afghanistan: The challenge of ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ militias

Christian Science Monitor
, 11 January 2013 AAN’s Gran Hewad is quoted extensively here about militias in Kunduz, talking about a related ‘new wave of insecurity in Kunduz’. He adds that new militias ‘are the proxy forces undermining the rule of law and national government…. They have fought people, looted, burned houses, abducted, and raped women […]

Truppenabzug aus Afghanistan – Ist das Land stabil genug? (German internet radio), 10 January 2013 Listen to an audio (in German) with an interview with AAN’s Thomas Ruttig, commenting on the so-called ‘zero option’ of a US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and about the country’s post-2014 prospects of stability.

Karzai meets Obama: How will they shape a post-2014 Afghanistan?

Christian Science Monitor
, 8 January 2013 AAN’s Martine van Bijlert contradicts assumptions of a post-2014 collapse in Afghanistan: ‘There is now a sense [among foreigners] that the lights are going to go out in 2014, that the sun is going to stop shining. In the early years, they had this overly rosy picture, but since […]