Kunduz

Introduction

The capital of the province is the city of Kunduz, with the total population of the province being about one million total inhabitants. Geographically, Kunduz has always been an important province. To its north is the country of Tajikistan, giving the province a crucial access point to Central Asia. Meanwhile, Kunduz shares borders with the Afghan provinces of Baghlan, Samangan, and Takhar to the south, west, and east respectively.

Demographics

As with most of Afghanistan, Kunduz Province is predominantly Muslim. Furthermore, according to the Pajhwok Afghan News, the province contains a number of ethnicities including the “Tajik, Pashtun, Uzbek, Hazara, Aymaq, Baluch, Turkman, Arab, Kuchi and Hindus.” More specifically, according to the Afghanistan Analysts Network, Kunduz consists of “34 per cent Pashtun, 27 per cent Uzbek, 20 per cent Tajik, 9.4 per cent Turkmen, 4.6 per cent Arab, 3.5 per cent Hazara plus a few very small groups including Baluch, Pashai and Nuristani.”

In regards to the population breakdown, the male and female populations are fairly evenly distributed, with males slightly outnumbering females, with males constituting 485,400 individuals and females constituting 468,400, with the total population being 953,800. Looking more in-depth at the population itself, about 19.7% of the population (16 and over) are literate and 49.7% of the children aged 6-12 are enrolled in school.

Economy

In the “Economic Assessment and Labour Market Survey of Mazar-i Sharif, Pul-i Khumri, Kandahar City and Kunduz City” as reported by the Mercy Corps, the economic situation of Kunduz Province is described in great detail. For example, the poverty rate in the province is at about 29.7%. Also, the top employment sectors in the province are agriculture, manufacturing/mining/construction, services, and public administration at 58.2%, 21.9%, 18.1%, and 1.8 % respectively.

Although some statistics are available for the province, it should be noted that not all data is available. Thus, the Mercy Corps would have to go off of interview with officials and businessmen. Through such interviews, they were able to figure out that much of the province’s trade goes toward Tajikistan, and possibly Uzbekistan as well, but the lack of actual statistics makes that hard to prove.

Political History

In February of 2016, “Asadullah Omarkhel, head of Kunduz high peace council, was appointed as governor of Kunduz province” according to The Frontier Post. Elaborating more of the Kunduz Peace Council, the council consists of twenty five members and was established in October of 2011. These members consist of “tribal elders, religious scholars and government officials” whose job is to “focus on the reintegration of armed opponents” according to the Afghan Bios Database.

It should also be noted that for a brief time in 2015, control of the city of Kunduz, the provincial capital, was lost to the Afghan Taliban. For several months, the Taliban had besieged the city, finally gaining control on September 28th of 2015, the first time the Taliban had control of a major Afghan city since the US invasion in 2001. Three days later, on October 1, the city was taken back from the Taliban, but the damage it had done to the credibility of the government had already been done, with even the temporary capture of the city being a huge symbolic victory for the Taliban.

Suggested Readings

Hall, Samuel. “Economic Assessment and Labour Market Survey of Mazar-i Sharif, Pul-i Khumri, Kandahar City and Kunduz City.” Mercy Corps. http://samuelhall.org/REPORTS/Economic%20Assessment%20and%20Labour%20Market%20Survey.pdf


Wormer, Nils. “The Networks of Kunduz: A History of Conflict and Their Actors, from 1992 to 2001.” Afghanistan Analysts Network. http://www.swp-berlin.org/fileadmin/contents/products/fachpublikationen/wrm_2012_the_networks_of_Kunduz.pdf