CrisisWatch N°155


01 July 2016

Parliament 13 June voted against President Ghani’s 5 March decree on electoral reform, sent to parliament late April, which had enabled release of international aid for elections to be held Oct; vote makes it highly unlikely elections will be held in 2016. Main opponent to decree Farah province MP Abdul Sabur Khedmat argued Ghani had no intention of holding elections and sent decree to Wolesi Jirga intending to deceive nation and block reform. Sirajuddin Haqqani, deputy to new Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhunzada, 15 June said Taliban only open to peace talks if international community agreed negotiations would conform to Sharia. Defence ministry 7 June said Afghan air force strike in Nangarhar province killed five Islamic State (IS) loyalists; U.S. drone strike in Paktika province 9 June killed alleged Haqqani Network facilitator. Military 14 June reported operation targeting Taliban hideouts in Jawzjan province killed fifteen insurgents; defence ministry 18 June said army released nine Taliban hostages in Helmand province. Police commander 3 June claimed Taliban hideouts installed 500m from Baghlan-Kunduz Highway, requiring large-scale operation to secure it. Taliban 30 June staged twin bomb attack on police convoy outside Kabul 30 June; reports of death toll vary from 27 to at least 40. Ghazni province officials 8 June said Taliban executed eleven security personnel who they had kidnapped 4 June. Explosion in Nangahar province mosque 10 June killed four civilians, wounded 50. Special representative on reform and good governance 4 June reported thousands of acres grabbed across country and major embezzlement in fuel contracts, but govt lacked political authority to tackle corruption. Report by NGO Global Witness 6 June said lapis lazuli mines driving corruption and extremism, earning Taliban and other armed groups up to $20mn annually.