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Militias hamper peace efforts in Kunduz

Militias hamper peace efforts in Kunduz

Oct 10, 2011 - 14:59

KUNDUZ CITY (PANinfo-icon): The militia force was impeding the peace and reintegration process in northern Kunduz province, officials said on Monday.

The militia is an armed tribal force created of locals to ensure security for their communities without receiving any wage. However, the name is presently used for an armed force with no official ranks in the government, but is equipped and supported by the government and US forces to fight the rebels.

In the past, some of those forces grew into private armies, turning on their own bosses and battling each other in power struggles.

Since the start of the peace process in February, more than 400 militants have joined the peace process in Kunduz, Asadullah Omarkhel, the chief of Provincial Peace Council, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Over the first five months of the process, more than 360 rebels had joined the program, but over the past three months, the number decreased to 30 due to the presence of illegal armed groups (militia) who disrupt and oppose the reintegration efforts, he said.

"The militias’ gross behavior with those who joined the peace process and shunned violence as well as their assassinations by the force are main hindrances blocking the reintegration of insurgents with the government," he said.

He added four Talibaninfo-icon commanders Mullahinfo-icon Nabi, Mullah Abdullah, Omar and Gulistan, who had joined the process along with dozens of their fighters over the past five months in Kunduz, were assassinated.

The Taliban and militias were involved in the killings in order to disrupt the peace process, he alleged.

The government was yet to provide security and employment opportunities for the reintegrees as they were promised, he said, adding only the peace body had given them 5,000 afghanis (id="mce_marker"04) monthly for three months.

If the government did not pay attention to reintegrees, they would rejoin the militants, he warned.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Samiullah Qatra, the provincial police chief, said there was no militia force available in the province, explaining there was a newly established special security force operating in the province.

The special force, jointly established by Afghan and ISAF, has been working in Kunduz.

All members of the force had produced guarantees of good conduct from village elders, religious scholars and local security officials, Qatra added.

Although the force employees had no special uniform, they have special badges on their shoulders, he said. Initially, residents could not differentiate between the force and tribal militiamen.

If any member of the force was found disrupting the peace process or annoying reintegrees, he would be detained and prosecuted for his actions, he concluded.



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