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Last updated: December 2020

The province of Ghor has approximately 764 000 inhabitants and is mainly populated by Tajiks, followed by Hazara and Aimaq. It is located in central towards north-western Afghanistan and borders the provinces of Herat, Badghis, Faryab, Sar-e Pul, Bamyan, Daykundi, Helmand and Farah. Ghor is divided into 10 districts.

Ghor is reported as being known for its ‘particularly confusing pattern of conflicts’, involving insurgent groups and ‘freelancing’ militias, with unclear dividing lines between them. Besides strong presence of Taliban insurgents, armed groups partially affiliated to political parties in the central government are present in the province. The ‘insurgent’ activities of some groups can be hardly distinguished from crime, and allegiances have been shifting several times in the past. Traditionally, government presence is weak in Ghor.

Half of the districts of the province were categorised by LWJ as contested, the rest as under government control or undetermined.

ACLED collected data on 222 violent events in the period from 1 March 2019 to 30 June 2020 (average of 3.2 incidents per week), of which 145 were coded as ‘battles’, 56 as ‘explosions/remote violence’ and 21 as ‘violence against civilians’.

Examples of incidents include the frequent use of roadside bombs by insurgents, causing civilian casualties, and attacks of Taliban against security forces.

UNAMA documented 77 civilian casualties (62 death and 15 injured) in 2019, representing 10 civilian victims per 100 000 inhabitants. This was an increase of 20 % compared to 2018. The leading cause for the civilian casualties were targeted/deliberate killings, ground engagements and non-suicide IEDs.

RS ranked Ghor in the category of provinces where the number of civilian casualties was between 26 and 50 for the first quarter of 2020, and between 51 and 75 in the second quarter.

In the period 1 March 2019 – 30 June 2020, 10 512 persons were displaced from the province of Ghor, almost all relocating in the same province. Almost no internal displacement from other provinces to the province of Ghor was reported in this period.

Looking at the indicators, it can be concluded that indiscriminate violence is taking place in the province of Ghor, however not at a high level and, accordingly, a higher level of individual elements is required in order to show substantial grounds for believing that a civilian, returned to the territory, would face a real risk of serious harm within the meaning of Article 15(c) QD.

Main COI reference: Security situation 2020, 2.11