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Power to the People (2): The TUTAP protests

When protesters interrupted President Ashraf Ghani’s speech in London three times on 13 May 2016, the heated controversy surrounding the route of TUTAP, a main electricity grid initiative, received even international attention. In Afghanistan, the tensions have been simmering since January 2016 when Hazara members of the government started trying to prevent a potential rerouting of […]

Operation Omari: Taleban Announced 2016 Spring Offensive

The Taleban made their yearly spring offensive announcement on 12 April 2016. The statement attributed to Taleban leadership council (Rahbari Shura) named the offensive “Operation Omari,” in honour of the movement’s late leader and provides clues with regard to both the Taleban’s plans and the way they wish to present themselves. Of particular note are the […]

Afghanistan Breaking Bad: Crystal meth, a new drug on the market

The first methamphetamine seizure in Afghanistan was recorded in 2008, a minor capture of four grams in Helmand province. Now, seven years later, some 17 kilograms of methamphetamine, popularly known as ‘crystal meth’, were seized in the first ten months of 2015, in 14 out of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. The Ministry of Counter Narcotics warned […]

Elections 2014 (30): Some initial reflections on E-Day II

The counting of second round votes from the presidential elections is still under way in much of Afghanistan, although results are now trickling in from some polling stations. Meanwhile, everyone is trying to assess how well the second round went: the impact of security incidents, level of fraud and, especially importantly, how big the turnout […]

Elections 2014 (6): Two types of security in the Shomali

The Shomali plain is the plateau spanning north of Kabul to the Salang. A fertile and comparatively rich area of the country, it also features strong political-armed networks dating back to the mujaheddin time. Fabrizio Foschini came back from observing the election in the Shomali with mixed feelings. The success achieved by Afghan security forces […]

Ghorband – A Valley Once Friendly

In May, we have been reporting about the deteriorating security situation in Eastern Afghanistan. There, it appears, an ‘insurgency corridor’ has been emerging, through which insurgents ‘will be able to move unhindered from the Pakistani border to Laghman, and from there into Kapisa and Kabul provinces’*. The killing of the Bamian Provincial Council (PC) chairman […]