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14 Jun 2018 description

KABUL - As Muslims around the world celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr after a month of fasting and worship, I wish all Afghans Eid Mubarak on behalf of the United Nations in Afghanistan.

With historic announcements of ceasefires that will allow Afghan families across the country to come together peacefully in the days ahead, in what is, for now, a temporary respite from war, I strongly urge all parties to the conflict to honour the announced ceasefires and respect this time of reflection, tolerance and solidarity.

12 Jun 2018 description

Author: Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

Afghans may, just possibly, have a happier Eid than in previous years. The government, the Taleban and the United States military have all called temporary ceasefires. Meanwhile, seven marchers for peace, who set off from Helmand on 13 May have been walking towards Kabul in temperatures of more than 40 degrees while keeping the Ramadan fast. Their demand for a ceasefire during Ramadan was not met, but as AAN’s Ali Mohammad Sabawoon reports (with input from Kate Clark), their arrival in Kabul will coincide with the Eid ceasefire.

12 Jun 2018 description

The Taleban have been a persistent and growing force in Farah since 2001, rebuilding their strength quietly after the U.S. invasion and then seizing territory in remote districts. Insurgents now challenge pro-government figures for control of valuable trade and smuggling routes, assisted by the disarray among their opponents as the provincial government is hobbled by frequent changes of leadership and mismanagement. AAN co-director Thomas Ruttig with input from Graeme Smith provides background to the Taleban’s latest attack on Farah.

12 Jun 2018 description

Author: Thomas Ruttig, Ali Mohammad Sabawoon, Rohullah Sorush and Obaid Ali

07 Mar 2018 description

Between 20 and 29 January 2018, there were five high profile attacks in major cities and districts in Afghanistan. The three by far largest ones happened in the capital Kabul. This feeds into a month-long period of such attacks that began in late December 2017. Altogether, almost 250 people, most of them civilians, were killed in these attacks.

25 Sep 2017 description

Following the devastating 31 May 2017 bomb attack in the Afghan capital, President Ashraf Ghani commissioned his security experts to develop a new security plan for Kabul. Although apparently not officially approved or fully funded yet, the plan called the ‘Zarghun Belt’ (Green Belt) was announced in mid-August. Jelena Bjelica and Kate Clark (with input from the rest of the AAN team) have been collecting details about the new plan and mapping out what it should entail.

25 Sep 2017 description

In recent days, Afghan government officials have raised the possibility of standing up a new militia force, the Afghan Territorial Army (ATA), modelled after both its Indian namesake and the Afghan Local Police (ALP). AAN understands that President Ghani is currently considering a pilot project for the ATA in the Achin and Kot districts of southern Nangrahar. This is, of course, the stronghold of Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), the local franchise of Daesh and the centre of the United States’ and Afghan government’s battle against it.

22 Sep 2017 description

The Afghan government and its United States military backers are considering standing up a new militia force, an army version of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) and modelled on the Indian Territorial Army. Officials claim this is their only option if isolated communities are to be protected from insurgents. Human rights groups have reacted with shock. AAN’s Kate Clark looks at the multiple, unhappy precedents for this force, but also at where militias have, occasionally, worked to defend communities, rather than abuse them.

10 Sep 2017 description

Author: Fabrizio Foschini and Jelena Bjelica

Refugees shafts, inside the Silos, Trieste 2016. Photo: Fabrizio Foschini