Seesaw Conflict With Taliban Takes Toll in Fallen Afghan District [Taiwara in Ghor]

New York Times, 7 August 2017 An interesting rendering of the local power architecture in Ghor province, where Taleban fighters recently have taken Taiwara district – including alleged ‘cross-frontline’ connections between a local ‘Taleban faciliatator’ and the High Peace Council in Kabul and a Jamiati commander-turned-Daesh.

As Casualties Mount, Afghan Leader Stresses Everyday Task of Governing

Wall Street Journal, 25 July 2017 Journal reporters were allowed to watch President Ghani during a full working day: “During a series of meetings, the 66-year-old former World Bank official and ex-finance minister berated a senior United Nations envoy over plans to fund parliamentary elections and threatened to fire about half a dozen senior government […]

Refugee deported hours before court suspends the order

Daily Finland, 7 July 2017 “A teenage asylum seeker from Afghanistan was deported from Finland on Tuesday a few hours before the court suspended the deportation order (…). The Turku appeal court allowed the 19-year-old asylum seeker Zaki Hussaini to stay in Finland based on his work permit application, but the law enforcers had already made […]

Lost at Tora Bora (2005)

New York Times, 11 September 2005 A useful re-read about the Tora Bora cave complex, “part of a C.I.A.-financed complex built for the mujahedeen,” with Osama bin Laden’s involvement. Featuring also Mawlawi Khales, Haji Abdul Qadir and Engineer Mahmud (both late) and a certain “Brig. Gen. James N. Mattis, the commander of some 4,000 marines.”

Taliban territory: Life in Afghanistan under the militants

BBC, 8 June 2017 A rare glimpse into Taleban controlled area in Helmand – Sangin and Musa Qala – “the Taliban’s de facto capital”: “We were not allowed to film anything to do with opium. The opium trade is synonymous with this region (…)  “Opium is our economic necessity, but we hate it as much as […]

As violence sweeps Kabul, the rapid pace of deportations from Europe continues

The Conversation, 6 June 2017 A must-read: First-hand experience from onboard a number of flights with forced and not-so-voluntary Afghan ‘returnees’ from Turkey by Liza Schuster. Here some quotes from the text: Thirty young men were deported to Kabul on June 6, on a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul. (…) As I spoke to the […]

Vice-president leaves Afghanistan amid torture and rape claims

The Guardian, 20 May 2017 “Afghanistan’s vice-president [Abdulrashid Dostum] has left the country after a six-month standoff following allegations that he illegally detained a political rival and had him raped with an assault rifle”, reports the British daily.  President Ashraf Ghani “framed the case as his make-or-break moment to show that not even powerful warlords were […]