• Report of the UN Secretary General to the Security Council, June 2015

    In his quarterly report to the General Assembly Security Council, the Secretary General outlines the current situation in Afghanistan.  For this period he reports a 43% increase in the number of armed clashes in the Taliban's spring offensive, compared to the same period in 2014.  Large-scale attacks included a suicide bomber in the entrance to a busy bank in Jalalabad and an attack on a guesthouse in Kabul. The failure to hold Parliamentary elections is resulting in the decline of international funding to this process.  And a high level commission on migration has been established, to address issues relating to high level returnee numbers and the wider displacement crisis. 

    PDF icon SG Report to the GASC June2015.pdf
  • Report of the SRSG for Afghanistan to the Security Council, June 2015

    The Special Representative of the Secreatary General, and head of UNAMA, Nicholas Haysom, presented his comments in a Security Council discussion of the latest report of the Secretary General on the situation in Afghanistan (see here).  Comments include the increasing number of foreign fighters in the country and concerns regarding efforts by Islamic State to gain a foothold in the insecure country.  The absense of a full cabinet has delayed political progress, but the end is in sight with most appointments now confirmed.  He ends with the hope for political leadership in delivering a lasting peace and reconciliation process, without which development is near impossible. 

    PDF icon SRSG_Briefing_Security_Council_June 2015.pdf
  • Child Soldiers International: Underage recruitment and use of children by armed forces & insurgents in Afghanistan, June 2015

    In July 2015 the Afghan government endorsed a 15-point plan which, along with a 2011 Action plan, aims to end underage recruitment and use of children in the armed forces. However, almost a year after, serious concerns remain, with child recruitment continuing and efforts to demobilise and rehabilitate child soldiers stymied by the insecurity. The Afghan government’s institutional ability to implement its international commitments and adhere to its own national laws and policies remains stretched. Meanwhile poverty continues to be the main driver behind underage recruitment with many children joining the Afghan National or Local Police to support their families.Aimed at the UN Security Council Working Group, Child Soldiers International's report highlights the obligations and partial failings of the Afghan government, whilst providing recommendations to the government, international donors and armed groups. 

    PDF icon Child Soldiers Intl briefing June 2015.pdf
  • Report of the UN Secretary General to the Security Council, June 2015

    In his report, the UN Secretary General notes, amongst other points, that between February 15 and April 30, UNAMA documented 2,126 civilian casualties (669 killed and 1,457 injured), reflecting a sharp increase of 23 per cent over the same period in 2014. Child casualties increased two per cent compared with the previous reporting period. The report also notes that the Government outlined a proposal for a national plan for elimination of torture as part of its response to a UNAMA report, on the treatment of conflict-related detainees in Afghan custody. Finally, the report also looks at further developments in the formation of Afghanistan's National Unity Government, 24 ministers were confirmed to date, four are women. 

    PDF icon SG Report to the GASC June2015.pdf
  • Costs of War: War-related Death, Injury & Displacement in Afghanistan & Pakistan, May 2015

    The Costs of War Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, scholarly initiative based at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies. The project and its reports analyzes the implications of the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq in terms of human casualties, economic costs, and civil liberties.With war-related movement between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and cross-border military actions, the separate wars in the 2 countries are becoming one larger conflict. This report describes the two kinds of war-related death and injury: direct deaths due to violence, and deaths caused indirectly due to the effects of the destruction of infrastructure and displacement.

    PDF icon Costs of War - War Related Casualties Afghanistan & Pakistan 2001-2014.pdf
  • Chatham House: The Impact of IEDs on the Humanitarian Space in Afghanistan, April 2015

    Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are an increasingly common feature of the conflict in Afghanistan and they pose a growing threat to humanitarian organizations operating there. This paper considers the features of IEDs that distinguish them from other threats facing humanitarians and how their use may indicate a more fundamental challenge to the humanitarian sector: the erosion of the principles of neutrality and impartiality owing to the increasing militarization and politicization of humanitarian aid. Using the specific example of their effects in Afghanistan, this paper assesses the risks IEDs pose and highlights the negative impacts on humanitarian operations that measures used to mitigate this risk can have. 

    PDF icon CH - IED impact on humanitarian space Apr15.pdf
  • Mercy Corps: Youth & Consequences - Unemployment, Injustice & Violence, April 2015

    Mercy Corps' report tackles some of the most persistent assumptions driving youth programming in fragile states. Drawing on interviews and surveys with youth in Afghanistan, Colombia and Somalia, the report finds the principal drivers of political violence are rooted not in poverty, but in experiences of injustice: discrimination, corruption and abuse by security forces.  In light of these findings, many familiar approaches — vocational training programmes, for instance, and civic engagement — are unlikely, in isolation, to have much effect on stability. A new approach is required, one that tackles the sources of instability, not just the symptoms.

    PDF icon MercyCorps_YouthConsequencesReport_2015.pdf
  • BAAG: Monthly report, April 2015

    BAAG's monthly 2-sided review of the key news from Afghanistan, which for April included progress in the appointment of Cabinet positions, a bloody start to the Taliban's spring offensive, a deadly landslide in Badakhshan and concerns over the continued targetting of minority groups.

    PDF icon Afghanistan in April.pdf
  • UNAMA: 2014 Annual Report, Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, February 2015

    UNAMA documented 10,548 civilian casualties in 2014, the highest number recorded in a single year since 2009. For the first time since 2009, more Afghan civilians were killed and injured in ground engagements than by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or any other tactic.  These ground engagements increasingly used explosive weapons systems such as mortars, rockets and grenades, sometimes indiscriminately, in civilian-populated areas - leading to devastating consequences for civilians.

    PDF icon UNAMA Protection-of-Civilians-annual report 2014.pdf
  • Report of the UN Secretary General to the Security Council, February 2015

    The SG highlights, amongst others, the 25 cabinet nominees and 9 appointments, the formal security transition on 31st December, increased regional efforts to improve security cooperation and peace negotiations, a sharp increase in returnees from Pakistan and the UN's humanitarian winter assistance. He comments that in 2014, 57 aid workers were killed, 47 injured, 182 abducted and 11 were arrested or detained.

    PDF icon SG-report-March2015.pdf
  • Mercy Corps: Does youth employment build stability?, January 2015

    Mercy Corp's INVEST programme (Introducing New Vocational Education and Skills Training) in Helmand provided a valuable opportunity to explore the economic reasons that may lead to a propensity towards political violence and insurgency.  Though not an original hypothesis of the programme, this quasi-experimental, mixed methodology impact evaluation contributes to research on the relationship between employment and stability. 

    PDF icon MercyCorps_youth employment stability Jan15.pdf
  • Report of the UN Secretary General to the Security Council, December 2014

    The Secretary General reports on the formation of Afghanistan's National Unity Government.  New president, Ashraf Ghani, and his CEO Abdullah Abdullah appointed various high level positions and promised a new Cabinet of ministers within 100 days.  The period also saw much regional activity with the President visiting a number of neighbouring countries to discuss cooperation.  Civilian casualties during the period included at least 50 spectators killed at a volley-ball match in Paktika province. Meanwhile the number of families fleeing into eastern provinces due to Pakistani military operations increased to over 32,000. 

    PDF icon SG report to the GASC Dec 2014.pdf
  • GICHD: The Humanitarian & developmental impact of anti-vehicle mines, October 2014

    Anti-vehicle mines (AVMs) are as indiscriminate as anti-personnel mines (APMs) and constitute the source of many casualties. As the international community explores the possible options for further legal regulation of AVMs, there is a need for more rigorous analysis of the impact of anti-vehicle mines on civilians and developing societies that are either in the midst of or recovering from conflict.To bridge this gap, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) undertook a study to document the humanitarian and developmental impact of anti-vehicle mines.  Their report includes Afghanistan as one of three case-studies. 

    PDF icon AVM-study-Sep2014.pdf
  • Report of the UN Secretary General to the Security Council, September 2014

    The 3 month reporting period to end of August 2014 saw a focus on the 2nd round of presidential elections.  Following the initial count of votes, numerous allegations of fraud were reported, the 2 nominees became fixed in an impasse and a total audit of the votes was ordered.  The UN, Senator Kerry of the US and others stepped in to attempt to smooth the process.  During this period, the security situation did not improve, with insurgents taking advantage of the political vacuum and peace talks grinding to a halt.  In addition, some 13,000 families fled military operations in Pakistan, taking refuge in Khost and Paktika provinces. 

    PDF icon SG Report to the GASC Sept 2014.pdf
  • Salah: Civil society recommendations for the NATO Summit 2014, September 2014

    These recommendations reflect civil society concerns over the imminent withdrawal of international combat troops, the restricted capacity of the Afghan security forces, and issues relating to their accountability.  Salah is a consortium of 8 Afghan civil society organisations focused on policy and advocacy for promoting peace and security. 

    PDF icon Afghanistan Peace and Security - SALAH 3.pdf