Afghanistan Regional Conflict Trends
As of 11 July the Taliban continues to push on Kunduz city and displacement continues. Around 1,500 families have been displaced so far, with around 350 of these families from the Damshakh area. They are reported in need of shelter, food and drinking water. ?In early July the Taliban carried out several simultaneous attacks against the Afghan security forces in Kunduz province, in an attempt to move closer to the provincial Centre. The attacks were less coordinated and sustained than in past years and the fighters have been repelled by ANSF but the province, including its Centre, remains vulnerable. ?
As of 28 June 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 has 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. ? In the week ending 25 June there have been reports of heavy fighting erupting in Darzab, in Jowzjan province. Specific military operations occurred in Khanabad district, Kunduz province. Taliban shelling in Kunduz city in May and June temporarily stopped humanitarian activities, which resumed as of 12 June. Since the beginning of 2017 the northern provinces represent 41% of the conflict-induced displacements. ?
No new displacements have been reported in the southern region in the first week of July, though the southern provinces continue to experience a high level of conflict, similar to previous years. Clashes between rebel groups and ANSF continued in Helmand, Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces. 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. 23% of all conflict displacement this year has occurred in southern provinces as January, representing the second highest area for displacement in the country as the result of conflict. ?
No new displacements have been reported in the western region in the first week of July. ?In comparison to the northern and southern provinces, western provinces have experienced less conflict. In the second week of June the situation remains unchanged to that seen so far this year, with sporadic clashes between Taliban and ANSF. 10% of all conflict displacement since the beginning of 2017 has occurred across the western provinces. Despite the reduced level of fighting in this area, overall access is significantly more limited. ??
As of 17 July, targeted killings and explosions have recently increased in Jalalabad, the provincial capital and other parts of Nangarhar province. ? Afghan Youths Civil Movement (AYCM) demanded removal and trial of government officials following this recent surge in insecurity and targeted killings by IS. ?
There was a significant spike in clashes between rebel groups and ANSF, specifically in southern Nangarhar, from 11-18 June, displacing over 10,000 people. ?As of 14 July U.S. and Afghan security forces continued engagement with Islamic State (IS) militants in eastern Nangarhar, has displaced thousands of families who fled their homes in the region. ?
Although, the eastern provinces represent a relatively small geographical area, a proportionately high number of clashes have occurred between the ANSF, Taliban and IS there. Since the beginning of 2017, 14% of all conflict displacement this year occurred in these provinces. Nangarhar has recorded the highest number of security incidents so far in 2017 and clashes continued in Nangarhar, Kunar and Nuristan provinces in July. Along with the Taliban, IS has strongholds in Nangarhar and Kunar in the eastern provinces. Throughout May, cross-border shelling has occurred between Pakistan and Afghanistan security forces. ?
Kabul is 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. ?
In the first week of June, Zthree 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 second week of July. Since the beginning of 2017, 7% of all conflict displacement this year occurred across the central provinces. ?