Afghanistan Regional Conflict Trends
As of 27 August more than 20,000 people have displaced from Ghormach district due to clashes between the Taliban and government forces. They have dispersed to other villages within Ghormach, districts in Faryab province, and Maymana city.? Following the escalation of clashes on 18 July, around 14,000 people have been displaced from Baghlan-e-Jadid district, notably to Pul-e-Khumri, Nahrin, and Kunduz districts.?In early July the Taliban carried out several simultaneous attacks against the Afghan security forces in Kunduz province, attempting to advance into the centre of the province. The attacks were less coordinated and sustained than in past years and the fighters were by ANSF but the province remains vulnerable. ?
Islamic State (IS) forces, strengthened by Taliban defectors, have made a successful push into Darzab district, Jowzjan province.?Conflict between the Taliban and ANSF in the northern provinces intensified in June, especially in Kunduz and Faryab provinces. As of 4 July, Afghan security forces have reclaimed several checkpoints in Kunduz province and along the Kunduz-Baghlan highway following seizure by the Taliban the previous week. ? Since the beginning of 2017 the northern provinces represent 41% of the conflict-induced displacements.?
Displacement continued in the southern region throughout July and into August as the southern provinces are experiencing a high level of conflict, similar to previous years. ?Clashes between rebel groups and ANSF continued in Helmand, Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces. Up to 7,000 displaced people are reportedly not accessible in the province due to the ongoing conflict. ?
In early June several hundred stocked bales of wheat were reportedly burned during attacks in the Nad-eAli/Marja area, increasing the vulnerability and food insecurity of affected communities. Clashes between the Taliban and ANSF are a regular occurrence. 22% of all conflict displacement this year has occurred in southern provinces, making it the second highest area for conflict-related displacement in the country. ?
As of the end of March, the Taliban claimed to be making progress in Kandahar province, stating they controlled four of Kandahar's 18 districts (Ghorak, Miyanashin, Registan, and Shorabak) and heavily contested five more (Arghastan, Khakrez, Maruf, Maiwand, and Shahwalikot). The remaining nine districts were reportedly contested. ?
In the last week of August more than 12,000 people were reportedly displaced within Bala Murghab in Badghis province. The vast majority of those displaced are in areas under control of Taliban. ?
Western provinces have experienced less conflict than the northern and southern provinces. In the first week of August the situation remains unchanged to that seen so far this year, with sporadic clashes between Taliban and ANSF. 12% of all conflict displacement since the beginning of 2017 has occurred across the western provinces. ?
Clashes between the Taliban and the government have been reported in Nuristan in early September. The government has been using airstrikes in the area.??
As of 20 August displacement continued due to insecurity across the province. ? As of 17 July, targeted killings and explosions have recently increased Nangarhar's provincial capital Jalalabad, and other parts of the province. ? Afghan Youths Civil Movement (AYCM) demanded removal and trial of government officials following this recent surge in insecurity and targeted killings by IS. ?
A significant spike in clashes between insurgent groups and ANSF in southern Nangarhar since June has displaced over 10,000 people. Nearly 8,000 are in need of humanitarian assistance .??As of 14 July U.S. and Afghan security forces continued engagement with IS militants in eastern Nangarhar. This has displaced thousands of families who fled their homes in the region. ?
The eastern provinces represent a relatively small geographical area where a proportionately high number of clashes have occurred between the ANSF, Taliban and IS. Nangarhar has recorded the highest actual number of security incidents so far in 2017. Clashes continued in Nangarhar, Kunar and Nuristan provinces during June. Along with the Taliban, there are IS strongholds in Nangarhar and Kunar. Throughout May there was cross-border shelling between Pakistan and Afghanistan security forces. Since the beginning of 2017, 17% of all conflict displacement this year has occurred in the Eastern provinces. ?
Kabul continues to be a significant developing battleground in 2017, with a high impact on civilians. ?19% of all civilian casualties in 2017 occurred in Kabul city from suicide and complex attacks. ? Increased insecurity across Kabul has led Afghan authorities to tighten security around housing, foreign embassies, and government offices. ?
Suicide attacks continue to take place in Kabul. The Taliban claimed responsibility for an atttack outside of a branch of the Kabul Bank on 29 August that killed five people and wounded nine. The Taliban has previously targeted the bank. ?In the first week of June, three attacks in four days caused civilian casualties, and also destabilised support for the National Unified Government (NUG). Following one of the largest attacks in Kabul to date, which caused over 100 civilian deaths, protests about the government's failure to protect civilians occurred in Kabul. Protesters outside the presidential palace resulted in ANSF opening fire on the crowd and killing seven civilians. Kabul has been the site of attacks on government buildings and facilities as well as humanitarian organisations. There have also been kidnappings of foreign nationals. The Taliban is responsible for the majority of attacks, while several are attributed to IS. ????
Conflict across the central provinces is relatively minor in comparison with the other areas, mainly due to the mountainous terrain. The central provinces represent a smaller geographical area compared to the northern, western, and southern provinces. However, clashes between Taliban and ANSF have continued into the first week of August. Since the beginning of 2017, 5% of all conflict displacement this year has occurred across the central provinces. ?