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News Published: 29 September 2020

EASO publishes a COI report: Afghanistan, Security Situation (2020 update)

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On 28 September 2020, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) report titled ‘Afghanistan, Security Situation’

The EASO COI report Afghanistan: Security Situation (2020 update) aims to provide information on the security situation in Afghanistan, which is relevant for the assessment of international protection status determination, including refugee status and subsidiary protection.

The security situation in Afghanistan remained volatile during the reference period (1 March 2019 – 30 June 2020), while the conflict continued to be described as one of the deadliest in the world for civilians. On 29 February 2020, after more than 18 years of conflict, the US and the Taliban signed in Doha an ‘agreement for bringing peace’ to Afghanistan. Despite significant fluctuations in violence during the peace talks and periods of reduction in violence following the Doha agreement, several sources reported a spike in violence during the first six months of 2020, with an increase in the number of civilian casualties, particularly in the northern and north-eastern regions. After the agreement, the Taliban issued a statement declaring that fighting will continue regardless of the deal with the US; in some areas of the country, the group has reportedly intensified attacks against the Afghan National Security Forces. 

The first part of the report provides a general overview of the security situation in Afghanistan, including conflict background and actors involved, main security incidents and their impact on the civilian population. The second part holds a geographic subdivision (Kabul city, plus 34 provinces), focusing in greater detail on the security situation in Kabul city and in each province, including a description of the armed actors active, recent security incidents, data on civilian casualties, and conflict-induced displacements.

This report is produced in line with the EASO COI Report Methodology, and was co-drafted by experts from 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); Poland, Department of Refugee and Asylum Proceedings; and researchers from EASO COI sector. In addition, the report was reviewed by Germany, Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF); Slovakia, Migration Office, Department of Documentation and Foreign Cooperation; and by ACCORD, the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation.

With 2.7 million refugees as of the end of 2019, Afghanistan was the third largest country of origin of refugees in the world. Afghan continued to be the second most common citizenship of asylum applicants in the EU+ as of June 2020. 

The EASO COI report Afghanistan – Security Situation, September 2020 is the last one of a series of COI reports on Afghanistan published by EASO between July and September 2020. The other reports of the series can be found at following links:

•    EASO COI Report: Afghanistan - Criminal Law, customary justice and informal dispute resolution (July 2020) 

•    EASO COI Report: Afghanistan - State Structure and Security Forces (August 2020) 

•    EASO COI Report: Afghanistan - Anti-Government Elements (August 2020) 

•    EASO COI Report: Afghanistan - Key socio-economic indicators. Focus on Kabul City, Mazar-e Sharif and Herat City (August 2020)