This report covers the overall security situation in Afghanistan from 1 March to 31 August 2021 and contains information on clashes and other security related events on provincial and district level during the reference period. The report also describes the Taliban's take-over of Afghanistan as international forces withdrew, beginning with the increased number of districts falling under Taliban control between March and July, followed by the capture of provincial capitals between 6 and 14 August, including the 'heavily defended' northern city of Mazar-e Sharif, and the final take-over of the capital Kabul on 15 August 2021.
While the report focuses primarily on conflict-related security incidents, which rapidly decreased as the Taliban take-over neared completion, it also covers general events following the fall of Kabul. This includes the Taliban's declaration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, reports on the government formation process and first statements made by the Taliban on its intentions regarding the respect of some fundamental human rights. It also addresses initial indications of threats against certain profiles such as journalists, persons with links to the previous administration or foreign forces, and human rights activists.
The report does not cover events after 31 August, and it must be noted that by the time of publication several sources have reported on the Taliban claiming to have captured Panjsher province, while the resistance front's leader, Ahmad Massoud, claims that the resistance force is still present in Panjshir and continue to fight the Taliban. There were also announcements about the formation of a Taliban government on 7 September, and reports on the Taliban breaking up demonstrations, as well as on the impact of the new Taliban regime on fundamental rights of the civilian population, in particular of women.
EASO would like to acknowledge the following external expert as the co-drafter of this report, together with EASO: Ms Elizabeth Williams, Country of Origin Information (COI) expert.
The following departments and organisations have reviewed the report:
- Belgium, Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons, Cedoca (Centre for Documentation and Research);
- France, Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless persons (OFPRA), Information, Documentation and Research Division (DIDR).
This report is produced in line with the EASO COI Report Methodology (2019).
In view of the current situation in Afghanistan, the policy paper regarding this country is no longer valid.