Asia

Afghanistan: Who controls what

Seventeen years after the fall of the Taliban in 2001, the armed group is still active across Afghanistan.

Alia Chughtai | | Asia, Afghanistan, Taliban, Poverty & Development, Humanitarian crises

 

Since the Taliban was removed from power following the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the armed group's control over parts of the country has fluctuated widely. 

According to a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), as of January 31, 2018, 229 districts were under Afghan government control which is about 56.3 percent of total Afghan districts. 

Fifty-nine districts, approximately 14.5 percent, were under rebel control.

The remaining 119 districts, about 29.2 percent, are contested - controlled by neither the Afghan government nor the rebellion.

In February 2018, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani invited the Taliban to "unconditional" peace talks, offering to recognise it as a legitimate political force in the country's future. The Taliban issued a response ruling out talks with the Kabul government and offering talks with the US officials instead.

Fighting between the Taliban and security forces has intensified since the armed group announced its annual spring offensive in April.

Violence has spread across Afghanistan in recent weeks with heavy fighting taking place from the provinces of Badakhshan, Baghlan and Faryab in the north to Farah in the west.

In May, the Taliban said it would not target Afghan police and military personnel if they leave their posts.

The Taliban has said it "categorically rejects" a statement made by the US commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan about "off-stage" dialogue taking place between Afghan officials and the armed group.

In the lead-up to October's parliamentary elections, 10 candidates were killed during the campaigning by the Taliban.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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