Tag: UN

An “Afghan Exodus” (1): Facts, figures, trends

The on-going “exodus” of Afghans – now the second largest group entering the EU – has contributed to the increasing refugee numbers across Europe. This, in turn, has led to heated debates and an increased political polarisation between pro- and anti-refugee movements and parties. As governments and citizens struggle to handle the influx of refugees, […]

UN Torture Report: still no accountability for torture

UNAMA’s new report on the torture of ‘conflict related detainees’ makes bleak reading and not only because of the scale and weight of evidence against Afghan intelligence and the police. UNAMA reported that more than half of those interviewed had experienced torture or ill-treatment. They included children as young as 14. The UN also says […]

Shelling at the Durand Line: Popular outrage building up

For the second year in a row, Pakistan is shelling Afghanistan’s eastern provinces, especially Kunar. The issue has recently become politically explosive, with calls for an army of volunteers to man the border and two key ministers being dismissed (on 4 August) over their failure to stop the shelling. Ordinary Afghans expect their government to […]

(Former) Red Lines and Blue Helmets: More on the Century Foundation report

AAN continues commenting on the Century Foundation’s Afghanistan Task Force report on ‘Negotiating Peace’. Today, Barbara J. Stapleton(*) points to the issue of (non-)permanent US bases in Afghanistan, to Hillary Clinton’s Asia Society speech that turned ‘red lines’ into an ’end state’, to Pakistan’s role and to the idea to deploy UN blue helmets after […]

The Dead of Mazar

Today, our thoughts are with the UN colleagues who were killed in Mazar-e Sharif yesterday and also with the Afghans killed there(*), not knowing whether they had just been using their constitutional right to demonstrate or indeed had murder in their hearts. And we hope that Pastor Jones in Gainesville, Florida, had a sleepless night, […]

Handing over Responsibilities in Afghanistan

International actors in Afghanistan have long been torn between negative trends, bleak assessments, ambitious strategies and ritualistic reports of hopeful developments. Their publics at home are uneasy about the lack of clarity on why their forces are in Afghanistan and what exactly they are achieving. Well-informed diplomats and policymakers are often very pessimistic in private, […]