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A look back at major security developments in Afghanistan in 1400



(Last Updated On: March 20, 2022)

As the solar year 1400 comes to an end, Ariana News looks back at major security developments that took place in the country over the last 12 months.

Early in the year, fighting in Afghanistan escalated as foreign troops worked towards an end-August withdrawal date following the 2020 deal between the United States and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA).

IEA seized control of 24 districts in the first quarter of the year and were fighting for control in other districts.

Most of the districts seized by IEA were in the northern parts of the country, including Teshkan, Tagab, Darayem, Keshm, Warduj, Shahr-i-Buzurg, Raghestan, Jurm, Yaftal and Kalafkan.

During the period that the districts fell to the IEA, coalition members including Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden pulled out all their troops from the country.

IEA then stepped up its attacks to an extent that it stalled intra-Afghan peace talks.

On 11 Asad (August 2), parliament convened an emergency session where then president Ashraf Ghani called on the public to stand up against the IEA.

Fighting escalated however after Ghani’s appeal and just three days later, the IEA took control of the provincial capital Zaranj in the southern province of Nimroz.

In the north, more districts were coming under the control of IEA. Ghani travelled to northern Balkh province twice. There, he met with former Balkh Governor Ata Mohammad Noor and former Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum to discuss ways to contain the IEA’s advance.

In the week following the seizing of Zaranj, the IEA also took the provincial capitals of Herat, Ghazni, Helmand, Kandahar and Ghor.

The offensive culminated with the capture of capital Kabul on 24 Asad (August 15), and the total collapse of the Ghani government.

While the fighting took a heavy toll on both parties, the number of casualties among civilians was also high.

According to a UN report, 1,659 civilians were killed and 3,523 others were wounded in the first half of 2021.

The report said that 39 percent of civilian deaths were caused by the IEA, while government forces were responsible for 23 percent of the deaths.

Looking at data on military deaths, 405 government forces were killed in the month of Sawr (May), and 703 in Jawza (June).

On the other hand, the defense ministry of the then government had announced that IEA lost 2,146 of its members in Sawr and 1,535 in Jawza, figures that were denied by IEA.

The conflict ended in Afghanistan once the IEA took over the capital, however, security incidents continued to cause civilian casualties.

As many as 200 civilians were killed outside the Kabul airport in an explosion claimed by Daesh during the chaotic foreign troop withdrawal process.

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US commits $150 million in aid for Afghans



(Last Updated On: August 13, 2022)

The United States announced Friday $150 million in new aid for Afghanistan to improve food security and support women and girls in the country.

The US Agency for International Development said an $80 million commitment to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will improve food security and nutrition for Afghans experiencing severe food insecurity, including women, women-headed households, and smallholder farmers and herders.

With this assistance, USAID will help Afghan farmers increase the production of nutritious food using environmentally-sustainable practices, and increase the availability of quality seeds and other agricultural inputs.

This funding will also improve smallholder farmers’ resilience to climate and economic shocks through crop diversification and promoting agricultural best practices, including through support to small-scale food producers, women, family farmers, pastoralists, and fishers.

USAID and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) signed a $40 million agreement to increase international support for Afghan children, particularly adolescent girls, to realize their right to education.

This is USAID’s newest contribution to Afghanistan’s education sectors and comes after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) March announcement blocking girls above grade six from school. 

With the funding provided by USAID through this agreement, UNICEF will have the resources to provide hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Afghans with desperately needed cash assistance to keep their children in school.

USAID also announced a $30 million commitment to support gender equality and women’s empowerment in Afghanistan.

This funding will be programmed through the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

The “Enabling Essential Services for Afghan Women and Girls” activity will increase Afghan women and girls’ access to social protection services; provide resources and support for women-led civil society organizations working to advance women’s rights in Afghanistan; and increase women’s economic empowerment through skills and business development training and entrepreneurship support, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said in a statement.

The funding will provide direct support for Afghan women’s civil society organizations.

“As women and girls face rising rates of gender-based violence in Afghanistan, this funding for UN Women will also provide women and girl survivors of violence with access to free and safe accommodation, legal aid and healthcare, psycho-social support, counseling, and vocational training,” USAID statement said.

The funding will also help UN Women respond to the urgent and immediate livelihoods needs of Afghan women, and help them build income security through private sector partnerships that will create job opportunities and help Afghan women launch or rebuild their micro, small or medium businesses.

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Mysterious fires destroy dozens of homes in Jowzjan



(Last Updated On: August 12, 2022)

More than 50 homes have been destroyed by mysterious fires in a village in Afghanistan’s northern Jowzjan province, officials said this week.

The fires have happened in Bala Mardian village of Faizabad district.

Sirajuddin Ahmadi, police chief of Jowzjan, said that the fires are increasing day by day.

“Yesterday 12 homes caught fire. Today people held Khatm Qur’an ceremony (reading Qur’an) and prayed. Within an hour today, three or four homes caught fire. I hope officials and leaders of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) will pay special attention to the victims,” Ahmadi said.

There are no reports of deaths caused by the fires.

Noorullah Musafir, the provincial director of labor and social affairs, however, said that some people including women and children were hospitalized.

Meanwhile, local residents said that mysterious creatures could be seen during the fires.

“People are suffering from the problem. They initially thought that it was human, but later it was found that only children and women can see it. A creature is seen in the home, but when we enter the home, no one is there,” a Jowzjan resident said.

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DAB says technical agreements in place to print new bank notes



(Last Updated On: August 12, 2022)

The country’s central bank – Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) said Thursday they have reached agreements with a number of foreign countries and money printing facilities to print new bank notes for the country.

“We have collected and burned the old money, we have reached an agreement with the money printing offices and countries and we expect to proceed according to the plan and present you with the results, we are proceeding based on national interests; discussions have been held with countries and banks and they will help Afghanistan,” said Lutful Haq Noor Pasarlay, DAB’s policy deputy head.

Abdulqahar known as Haji Muhammad Edris, the acting head of De Afghanistan Bank, also spoke at the event and mapped out achievements made by the central bank in the past 12 months.

“Maintaining the stability of the value of the Afghani currency, maintaining the sustainability of commercial banks, providing banking services, facilitating cross-border transfers and developing new systems were some of the issues in the attention of Da Afghanistan Bank during the last year,” said Abdulqahar.

According to officials, in order to improve the banking sector and prevent criminal activities, the law to prevent terrorism financing, the regulation of preventive measures against money laundering, the management plan for the liquidity problem of the banking sector, the plan to revive the financial and banking sector, and the crisis management policy, have been drawn up and will soon be adopted.

The officials also said that in order to release Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserves, several internal and external meetings have been organized with the relevant parties and discussions have been held on technical matters.

The last meeting of technical representatives of Afghanistan and the United States, for releasing Afghanistan’s frozen assets, was held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

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