ecoi.net featured topic on Afghanistan: Security situation and socio-economic situation in Herat-City and Mazar-e Sharif

ecoi.net's featured topics offer an overview on selected issues. This featured topic covers the security situation and the socio-economic situation in Herat and Mazar-e Sharif. The featured topics are presented in the form of excerpts from documents, coming from selected sources. Compiled by ACCORD.

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1. Timeline of incidents in Herat district since January 2018
2. Timeline of incidents in Mazar-e Sharif district since January 2018
3. Socio-economic situation in Herat-City and Mazar-e Sharif
3.1 Food Supply
3.2. Health Care
4. Sources

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Note: For general information on the security situation in Afghanistan please refer to the following link:
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Please note: In ecoi.net’s English interface, the featured topics are presented in the form of direct quotations from documents. This may lead to non-English language content being quoted. German language translations/summaries of these quotations are available when you switch to ecoi.net’s German language interface.

Security situation and socio-economic situation in Herat-City and Mazar-e Sharif

1. Timeline of incidents in Herat district since January 2018

2019

“On 27 August 2019, Taliban militants ambushed and killed 3 policemen, and injured 1, in Herat city.” (ACLED, 26 September 2019) [i]

“On 26 August 2019 at 9am, Taliban fighters ambushed and killed a regime officer in the Abdullah Abad area of Herat city.” (ACLED, 26 September 2019)

“On 8 August 2019, two gunmen on a motorcycle shot and killed a police officer and injured another in Herat city.” (ACLED, 26 September 2019)

“On 7 August 2019, a magnetic bomb placed in a car by unidentified militants exploded in Herat city. 8 civilians (2 children, 2 women, 4 men) were injured.” (ACLED, 26 September 2019)

“On 05 August 2019, an IED planted on a motorcycle by IS killed 4-5 Shiite civilians and injured 20-29 in Herat city.” (ACLED, 26 September 2019)

“On 23 June 2019, Taliban militants ambushed and killed 1 NDS agent, in Herat city.” (ACLED, 26 September 2019)

“On 20 05 2019, Taliban militants ambushed and killed an Afghan soldier, in Herat city.” (ACLED, 28 May 2019)

“On 16-May-2019, 1 Afghan soldier was killed by Taliban militants in the Shedaie area of Herat city.” (ACLED, 28 May 2019)

“As reported on 11-May-2019, 4 Taliban militants were killed, 2 were wounded, and 6 mines were defused by Afghan Police Forces on the Herat-Kandahar highway in Herat province.” […] “On 12-April-2019, 4 Taliban militants were killed, 2 were wounded, and 6 mines were defused by Afghan Military Forces in Herat province.” (ACLED, 22 June 2019)

“On 19-April-2019, 3 National Directorate of Security officers were killed and 2 were wounded by explosions conducted by unidentified armed militants in Herat city.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

“On 31-March-2019, 2 Afghan soldiers were killed and 1 Taliban militant was wounded in clashes in the PD4 area of Herat city.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

“On 28-March-2019, 1 Afghan soldier was killed by Taliban militants in Herat city.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

“On 19-March-2019, 1 civilian was killed and 6 were wounded by an IED blast conducted by unidentified armed militants in the 9th Police district of Herat city.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

“On 19-March-2019, 2 Afghan soldiers were killed, 1 pickup was destroyed, and 1 pistol and 1 rifle were seized after a bomb blast conducted by Taliban militants in Herat province.” (ACLED, 22 June 2019)

“As reported on 12-March-2019, 1 soldier was killed by a sniper in the Sheidaie area of Herat city, Hirat district, Herat.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

“On 10-March-2019, 5 people were wounded by a magnetic bomb in Herat city, Hirat district, Herat. No group claimed responsibility.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

“On 09-March-2019, a tribal elder was shot and killed by 2 unknown gunmen on a motorcycle in Herat city, Hirat district, Herat.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

“As reported on 04-March-2019, 1 unidentified armed militant was killed by Afghan Police in the 5th Police district in Herat city.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

“On 23-February-2019, 1 Afghan Policeman was killed by unidentified armed militants in Herat city. 1 of the attackers was later captured.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

“On 23-February-2019, 1 Afghan soldier was killed and 1 was wounded by Taliban militants in Herat city.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

“On 16-February-2019, 1 civilian who was head of religious and hajj affairs was killed by unidentified armed militants in Herat province.” (ACLED, 22 June 2019)

“On 30-January-2019, 2 Afghan soldiers were killed and 1 was wounded by a mine blast conducted by Taliban militants in the Spina Ada area of Herat city.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

“On 13-January-2019, it was reported that 1 Taliban militant, 3 Afghan Policemen, and 2 civilians were killed in an attack in the Pul-e-Rangina area of PD6, Herat city. Afghan Special Forces defused a carbomb during the clashes.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

“On 12-January-2019, 1 Taliban militant, 3 police officers, 2 civilians were killed after Taliban militants stormed into a police station in the Pul-e-Rangina area of police district 6, Herat city. 3 police officers were wounded in the clashes.” (ACLED, 22 June 2019)

“On 04-January-2019, 1 Afghan soldier was killed and 1 rifle was seized by Taliban militants in the Kandahar Terminal area of Herat city.” (ACLED, 22 June 2019)

2018

“On 16-November-2018, 1 unidentified armed militant was killed and 2 were arrested by Afghan Police in the Pashtun Pul area of Herat city. The militants were attempting to attack Afghan security forces.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

„In the run-up to the election campaign period, from August 2018 onwards, Herat city witnessed a series of small-scale improvised electronic device (IED) attacks. On 9 August, explosives planted in a motorbike went off opposite a vehicle carrying a former Afghan Local Police (ALP) commander, Haji Amir Shindandi, in the Old Corps Road in Police District (PD) 1, killing at least four people and injuring 12 others including the ex-commander. On 5 September, there were two consecutive explosions in Chawk-e Gulha area in downtown Herat, injuring at least six people, including two traffic police officers. In late August, earlier in the same place (ie Chawk-e Gulha), an explosion killed at least two people. On 4 October , a blast targeted a parked police vehicle in Darb-e Khush area in the city centre, injuring about ten people, among them a child.” (Kazemi, 15 October 2018)[ii]

“Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a religious scholar in Herat City on the night of June 22.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

“A suicide attack near a Shi’ite mosque in the Western Afghan city of Herat killed at least one person and wounded eight others, police and health officials said on Sunday. Militant group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, which followed another blast that was claimed by the group in Kabul last week and killed about 30 people near a Shi’ite shrine as the city celebrated Nawruz, the Persian new year.” (Reuters, 25 March 2018)[iii].

2. Timeline of incidents in Mazar-e Sharif district since January 2018

2019

“On 10 September 2019, an IED planted by Taliban killed 7 NDS agents, in Mazar-e Sharif district, Balkh.” (ACLED, 26 September 2019)

“On 10 September 2019, a bomb planted by an unidentified armed group injured 2 civilians in Mazar-e Sharif city, Balkh.” (ACLED, 26 September 2019)

“On 9 August 2019, a Taliban-planted landmine blew up a military tank in Mazar-e Sharif city, Balkh. 5 soldiers were killed.” (ACLED, 26 September 2019)

“On July 08 2019, 1 'Arbaki' commander was killed following an attack by Taliban militants in Mazar-e Sharif district, Balkh.” (ACLED, 25 July 2019)

“On 07-May-2019, 3 unidentified armed militants were killed, and 5 civilians were wounded, in clashes between two armed groups in Mazar-e Sharif city, Balkh province.” (ACLED, 28 May 2019)

“On 30-April-2019, 1 Afghan Policeman was killed and 2 others were wounded by a bomb explosion conducted by unidentified armed militants in Mazar-e Sharif city, Balkh province.” (ACLED, 28 May 2019)

“On 30 04 2019, a landmine planted by Taliban destroyed a police vehicle, killing 2 policemen and injuring 1, in Mazar-e Sharif district, Balkh.” (ACLED, 28 May 2019)

“On 29-April-2019, 7 Taliban militants were killed and 6 militants and 5 Afghan soldiers were wounded in clashes in the Sharsharak area near the Mazar-e Sharif-Jowzjan highway in Mazar-e Sharif district, Balkh province.” (ACLED, 28 May 2019)

“On 27-March-2019, 2 Afghan Policemen were killed and 1 was wounded by Taliban militants in Mazar-e Sharif district, Balkh province. 1 Kalashnikov and 1 100 round rifle were seized by the militants.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

“On 16-March-2019, 1 "Arbaki" was killed by Taliban militants in Mazar-e Sharif city, Balkh province.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

“Gunfire has broken out in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif between police loyal to a powerful former provincial governor and Interior Ministry forces sent to support a new police chief who was appointed by President Ashraf Ghani. The March 14 gunbattle was sparked by the dispute between Ghani and Balkh Province's former governor, Atta Mohammad Noor, an ethnic Tajik former warlord whose militia fighters now form most of the provincial police force. Hospital officials in Mazar-e Sharif told RFE/RL that at least 13 people were hospitalized with gunshot wounds sustained during the March 14 fighting -- including eight police officers and five civilians.” (RFE/RL, 14 March 2019)[iv]

2018

“10 October 2018 […] Taliban gunmen attacked a top judicial official, Justice Director Syed Mohammad Jafar Misbah, and his 2 bodyguards in Mazar-e Sharif city, Balkh province. The official was only slightly harmed while his bodyguards were critically wounded.” (ACLED, 26 April 2019)

“Unidentified gunmen have shot dead an imam (prayer leader) in the capital of northern Balkh province, an official said on Saturday.” (PAN, 1 September 2018)[v]

“Two people including a prisoner were killed and seven others inmates have been abducted after unidentified gunmen attacked police convoy in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, an official said on Friday.” (PAN, 25 May 2018). According to ACLED only one person was killed in this incident (ACLED, 26 April 2019).

3. Socio-economic situation in Herat-City and Mazar-e Sharif

The following information focusses on the Afghan population in general and not specifically on the most vulnerable groups, such as internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees, whose situation may differ significantly. (See e.g. ACCORD, 7 December 2018)

3.1 Food Supply

FEWS NET[vi] provides food security maps for Afghanistan on its website dating back to July 2009 (FEWS NET, no date (a)). Below are the maps for the forecasts for the periods June 2019 to September 2019 and October 2019 to January 2020. According to the map, in the period June to September 2019 the city of Herat reaches the second highest level of the classification system used by FEWS NET (see below for explanation). Mazar-e Sharif reaches phase 1 of the classification system. (FEWS NET, 25 July 2019). In phase 1, also called “minimal”, households are able to meet essential food and non-food needs without engaging in atypical and unsustainable strategies to access food and income. In phase 2, also called "stressed", households have minimally adequate food consumption but are unable to afford some essential non-food expenditures without engaging in stress-coping strategies. Phase 3, also known as "crisis", households either have food consumption gaps which are reflected by high or above-usual acute malnutrition; or are marginally able to meet minimum food needs but only by depleting essential livelihood assets or through crisis-coping strategies. (FEWS NET, no date (b))

June - September 2019:

(FEWS NET, June 2019)

October 2019 - January 2020:

(FEWS NET, June 2019)

The World Food Programme (WFP)[vii] regularly publishes a data set on food prices in Afghanistan via Humanitarian Response[viii] The data set includes the monthly retail prices of low quality rice, wheat and bread as well as the average daily wage of qualified and non-qualified, non-agricultural labour. (WFP, 28 May 2019) The following graphs show the monthly trend of food prices from January 2018 to August 2019 and the ratio between the daily wage of the unqualified labour force and the quantities of basic food products that can be purchased in Herat City and Mazar-e Sharif:

(Based on WFP, 15 August 2019)

(Based on WFP, 15 August 2019)

(Based on WFP, 15 August 2019)

(Based on WFP, 15 August 2019)

“Widespread conflict and severe drought has forced over 150,000 people to flee villages in northwestern Afghanistan and seek shelter in the city of Herat. Their condition remains extremely fragile, as they face shortages of food and limited access to healthcare. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) opened a winter clinic in Herat to provide much-needed assistance to these vulnerable people. […] Living conditions are grossly inadequate and particularly poor when it comes to shelter, water and sanitation. Limited availability of food is another issue, with visible consequences on the health of children and on pregnant or lactating women, who need good quality nutrients to feed their babies.” (MSF, 20 March 2019)[ix]

“As the summer heat in Afghanistan grows in intensity, conditions are becoming increasingly difficult for some 100,000 displaced people sheltering on the outskirts of the city of Herat. At the same time, humanitarian assistance is being reduced and water supplies are running out. The displaced people fled their villages in northwestern Afghanistan last year during a severe drought and increased fighting between armed opposition groups and Afghan security forces. One year on, the drought is over, but they are unable to return home due to continuing insecurity.” (MSF, 23 July 2019)

3.2 Health Care

“In a 2018 report the World Bank concluded that over 2004-2010 health care services showed major improvements in Afghanistan, while in the period of 2011-2016 improvements continued at a slower pace. The report added that the provinces with high performing health facilities in 2003–2010 were Baghlan, Faryab, Herat, Jawzjan, Khost, Kunar, Laghman, Logar, Nuristan and Paktika, whereas in the period of 2011-2016 health facilities were functioning best in Badakhshan, Balkh, Daykundi, Farah, Faryab, Helmand, Nangarhar, Paktiya, Saripul and Zabul with Faryab being the only high-performing province during both periods. […]

According to UNOCHA, medical workers and health facilities are most affected by security incidents and direct violence amongst all aid workers and humanitarian infrastructure in Afghanistan. Health personnel are being harassed, detained, kidnapped and killed. Many people in Afghanistan lack access to health care due to the conflict, and trauma-care is regarded as one of the most critical gaps remaining in Afghanistan’s public health care. Medical facilities are increasingly a target of military attacks” (EASO, April 2019, S. 45-46)[x]

“The recent wave of returnees and the large number of internally displaced people (IDPs) is posing a further challenge on already stretched health care facilities and health care professionals in Afghanistan.” (WHO, 20 June 2018)[xi]

“So far this year [report for the month of August 2019], 319 humanitarian incidents were recorded across the country resulting in 27 aid workers killed, 31 injured and 33 abducted. Nearly half of the recorded incidents were the result of direct and indirect violence against humanitarian personnel, assets or facilities. Additionally, 133 of the 319 incidents affecting aid workers in 2019 consisted of attacks on health facilities and personnel.” In Herat province 22 incidents impacting humanitarian access, health facilities and health workers have occurred, whereas in Balkh there where 24 such incidents. (OCHA, 24. September 2019)[xii]

4. Sources:

(all links accessed 26 September 2019, except if otherwise noted)

 

This featured topic was prepared after researching within time constraints. It is meant to offer an overview on an issue and is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status, asylum or other form of international protection. Chronologies are not intended to be exhaustive. Every quotation is referred to with a hyperlink to the respective document.

 

Cite as:

ACCORD - Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation: ecoi.net featured topic on Afghanistan: Security situation and socio-economic situation in Herat-City and Mazar-e Sharif, 2 October 2019
https://www.ecoi.net/en/countries/afghanistan/featured-topics/security-situation-and-socio-economic-situation-in-herat-city-and-mazar-e-sharif/