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14 Jan 2016 description
report EurasiaNet

The surge of refugee crises across the globe is dampening prospects for Afghans stranded in Tajikistan of finding new safe havens any time soon.

Roughly 2,200 refugees from Afghanistan live in Tajikistan, and as conditions worsen in their home country, few contemplate returning. At the same time, those hoping to be resettled in a third country by the United Nations are growing used to disappointment.

08 May 2012 description
report EurasiaNet

by Chris Rickleton

A slight, kalpak-wearing man from Afghanistan with weathered cheeks, Abduvali Abdulrashid looks out of place at a posh sushi joint in downtown Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital. He’s a one-man advocacy delegation, seeking Bishkek’s help so that roughly 1,500 ethnic Kyrgyz nomads in Afghanistan can migrate to their titular homeland.

17 Aug 2011 description
report EurasiaNet

When the United Nations released its mid-year review of civilian deaths in July, arguing that 80 percent were caused by anti-government elements, there was a loud protest by Taliban leaders. Pointing to their own code of conduct, they refuted the assertion. UN officials – hoping to limit the random bombings, explosions and suicide attacks that are responsible for most civilian deaths – see the reaction as an opportunity for engagement.

24 Mar 2011 description
report EurasiaNet

Anti-American sentiment is at record high levels in Afghanistan, a factor that promises to complicate what is already shaping up as a tricky transfer of security responsibilities from Western forces to indigenous military and law-enforcement entities.

Under the existing timeframe, the Afghan government will assume in 2014 primary responsibility for maintaining security in the country. The transfer of authority would involve the withdrawal of the bulk of US troops that are currently fighting to contain the Taliban insurgency.

10 Mar 2011 description
report EurasiaNet

A controversial, opaque US defense initiative to make payments to Taliban fighters who renounce violence has been extended until September 2012. While a large, but unspecified amount of funding is devoted to the program, no one appears to be keeping track of how the money is being spent.

A portion of the funds for the program, which is designed to draw off non-ideological elements from the Taliban, comes from the Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP).

08 Mar 2011 description
report EurasiaNet

urasiaNet Commentary

More than nine years after Taliban militants were driven from power in Kabul, women in Afghanistan are making slow but steady progress in their effort to secure basic rights.

The Taliban era, as is widely known, took Afghan women back to the Dark Ages. From there, it's been a long climb back to the point where a woman can entertain even the slimmest hope of realizing her potential.

01 Mar 2011 description
report EurasiaNet

About 8 million Afghans, or more than one out of every four residents of the war-torn country, are in acute need of humanitarian assistance. The best way to meet this tremendous demand is through long-term investment in Afghanistan's sustainable development.

Right now humanitarian aid efforts in Afghanistan feature a multitude of competing foreign aid organizations, bypassing the Afghan government, trying to find more trucks and safer routes to deliver more food rations or drinking water to an ever increasing number of destitute people.

11 Jan 2011 description
report EurasiaNet

It may not be their preferred destination, but increasing numbers of Afghan refugees, seeking to escape the growing insecurity of their homeland, are making their way to Tajikistan. The former Soviet republic on Afghanistan's northern border is seen as safer than Pakistan, less socially restrictive than Iran, and a more culturally familiar place, as many of the refugees speak a dialect of Tajik.

Yet even relative to Pakistan and Iran -- the traditional destinations for refugees fleeing Afghanistan's 30-plus years of war -- Tajikistan is desperately poor. Jobs are scarce.

29 Dec 2010 description
report EurasiaNet

by M. Ashraf Haidari

Opium fields in Afghanistan's Bala Baluk district are the target for eradication with tractors from the Afghan National Security Forces plowing up the ripe flowers and buds to prevent farmers from harvesting their opium crop. Growing poppy remains one of the few reliable sources of income for poor Afghan farmers. (Photo: US Navy/Petty Officer 1st Class Monica R. Nelson)

After 31 years of violence in Afghanistan, the opium poppy crop remains one of the few reliable sources of income for poor Afghan farmers.

28 Dec 2010 description
report EurasiaNet

by Aunohita Mojumdar

Aid workers in Afghanistan say the expanding scope of the Islamic radical insurgency is fueling a humanitarian crisis. Emergency aid agencies say they need several hundred million dollars to address the threat of widespread hunger.

13 Dec 2010 description
report EurasiaNet

Expanding outward from the Afghan capital and sweeping north past the foreign military base at Bagram, Afghanistan's Shomali Plain, a bustling and bountiful agricultural hub with one of the safest roads in the country, seems, at first glance, like a peaceful oasis in an otherwise war-ravaged country.

Once one of the most heavily mined areas in the world - the result of more than three decades of continual conflict - the Shomali Plain is now alive with economic activity.

23 Nov 2010 description
report EurasiaNet

Thirty years ago, the dwelling would have been luxurious.

28 Oct 2010 description
report EurasiaNet

President Hamid Karzai's plan to shut down private security forces in Afghanistan has many military contractors and assorted peace-builders in a panic. But some humanitarian aid workers in the country contend that a ban isn't such a bad idea.

For years, non-governmental organizations operating in Afghanistan have condemned the militarization of humanitarian work, and have struggled to define a role that is distinct from the armed, for-profit development contractors in the conflict zone.

26 Oct 2010 description
report EurasiaNet

October 26, 2010 - 4:46pm, by Suraya Dalil and M. Ashraf Haidari

Afghanistan Human Rights Security

EurasiaNet Commentary

The topic of civilian casualties in military operations in Afghanistan is attracting lots of international attention these days. But a far more serious problem from the Afghan perspective is the matter of avoidable deaths connected to a lack of human security.

During the first half of 2010, about 3,000 civilians were killed in combat operations. In contrast, more than 50,000 Afghans die annually due to the human-security deficit.

21 Jul 2010 description
report EurasiaNet

July 19, 2010 - 1:56pm, by Aunohita Mojumdar

The largest international conference ever convened in Kabul is set to get underway on July 20 amid greatly diminished expectations, Aunohita Mojumdar writes for EurasiaNet.

By Aunohita Mojumdar for EurasiaNet

During its planning stages, the Kabul Conference was expected to establish "a new social contract" between the Afghan government and people, as well as advance the process of the "Afghanization" of the stabilization process, with the international community handing increasing control of reconstruction …

05 Apr 2010 description
report EurasiaNet

Leading Afghan human rights experts are voicing caution about President Hamid Karzai's efforts to reconcile with the Taliban.

The Afghan government has proposed a law that would grant amnesty to Taliban fighters in order to peel them away from the radical Islamic movement and to promote a durable peace in Afghanistan. The government, however, has not made public details of the legislation, including who would be eligible for the amnesty, what crimes might be excluded, and what Taliban members would have to do to be eligible for the amnesty.

02 Apr 2010 description
report EurasiaNet

Elissa Bogos 4/02/10

A EurasiaNet Photo Story

Afghanistan is no stranger to the devastation caused by land mines. Widespread since the 1979 Soviet invasion, the damage wrought by these weapons endures long after an injury. And in a country famous for cruel ironies, one stands out: many of the injured were once deminers seeking to purge the landscape of these invisible bombs.

Mohammad Parwaiz lost the vision in his right eye and most in his left when a mine he was deactivating exploded in his face. He received $8,000 in compensation from his employer, a European demining outfit.

05 Mar 2010 description
report EurasiaNet

Monique Jaques 3/05/10

US and NATO forces in Afghanistan have faced heavy criticism from government officials in Kabul on the issue of civilian casualties. But it now appears that Taliban insurgents, not foreign forces, are inflicting the bulk of civilian casualties.

In response to Afghan government concerns, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of US troops in Afghanistan, issued a directive last July making the protection of civilian life a top priority during combat operations.

02 Mar 2010 description
report EurasiaNet

A EurasiaNet commentary by Mohammad Asif Rahimi and M. Ashraf Haidari

The development of Afghanistan's agricultural sector has been overlooked by the international community, despite the fact that roughly 80 percent of the Afghan population lives in rural areas and scratches out a meager existence from the land. In trying to rectify the existing situation, the international community would do well to look to Brazil for answers.

Real progress on agricultural reforms is critical for success in stabilizing Afghanistan.

09 Feb 2010 description
report EurasiaNet

EURASIA INSIGHT

Aunohita Mojumdar 2/09/10

A EurasiaNet Commentary

"Reintegration" and "reconciliation" are two buzzwords that are driving stabilization efforts in Afghanistan these days. But the terms mean different things to different stakeholders in the process.

"Reintegration" denotes the laying down of arms by rank-and-file Taliban militants in exchange for guarantees of safety, immunity and employment.