18 September 2017

News Story: Defense Ministry To Form Militia To Secure Volatile Areas & Watchdog Says Proposed ‘Militia’ A Threat To Afghan Civilians

Defense Ministry To Form Militia To Secure Volatile Areas

By Gulabudin Ghubar

The Ministry of Defense has a plan on hand to mobilize the public forces otherwise known as ‘militia’ to maintain security in areas cleared of insurgents by the Afghan National Army, an official from the ministry said.

“People will be recruited from their areas, because they know their region and realize how to keep it,” the Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told TOLOnews on Friday. “The (public) forces will not go from one place to another. It is almost the same as the (Afghan) Local Police, but there is a big difference.”

The spokesman did not give the number of the public forces that will be established under the structure of the Defense Ministry. However, a foreign official has said the new plan is sketched by the US and that the number of the militia will reach to 20,000.

The New York Times meanwhile quoted an Afghan military official saying that 20,000 militia will be recruited under the new plan and will be managed by the Afghan Defense Ministry.

Read the full story at TOLOnews


Watchdog Says Proposed ‘Militia’ A Threat To Afghan Civilians

The Afghan government should reject proposals to create a new militia with inadequate training and oversight, Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Friday.

The statement said western diplomatic sources in Kabul told Human Rights Watch that President Ashraf Ghani is considering establishing a defense unit modelled on the Indian Territorial Army, an auxiliary force comprising personnel who serve on a short-term contract basis with the regular armed forces. The NATO Resolute Support Mission is believed to support such a local security force in Afghanistan.

An Afghan Territorial Army with reduced training and potentially less oversight risks being yet another abusive militia operating outside the military’s chain of command, Human Rights Watch said. If approved, the Afghan government is expected to determine the location of a pilot project by September 20, 2017

Read the full story at TOLOnews