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War gains: how the economic benefits of the conflict are distributed in Afghanistan and the implications for peace: A case study on Nimroz province

Research reports

Written by David Mansfield, Ghulam Rasool Moosakhel, Azizullah Ibrahimkhel, Graeme Smith

Image credit:(C) Alcis Holdings Limited 2021.

Earlier this year, consultants for Lessons for Peace: Afghanistan studied the main sources of funds for different conflict actors in Nimroz. A strategic province in south-west Afghanistan that borders Iran and Pakistan, Nimroz became the first provincial capital to be taken by the insurgents.

In light of the Taliban’s rapid advance, this research reveals the potential importance of control over cross-border trade to the overall balance of power in the country. In doing so, it helps explain how the group have been able to mobilise support from erstwhile opponents through sophisticated pacts and agreements, and provides an indication of the likely role of these bargains, and the economic rents which underpin them, in keeping local powerholders included in the emerging settlement.

The report annex provides a detailed technical analysis explaining how revenues were calculated and mapped.