The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Military

Afghans urge accountability of int'l forces towards Afghanistan

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, Jan 26, IRNA -- Several prominent members of the Afghan society on Tuesday called on the leaders participating in the London conference to maintain “accountability” towards the people of Afghanistan.

Shinkai Karokhail, a member of the Afghan parliament, told the one-day event on the “Afghan Perspectives on Development and Security”, that international forces should feel accountable for killing civilians and the violation of human rights in Afghanistan.

Karokhail said there is “poor coordination” among international forces in providing security and distributing international aid in Afghanistan, adding that progress in the country will not materialise without accountability.

She urged the international community to help the Afghan government implement the country’s National Development Strategy which aims at improving Afghan’s livelihoods.

Mohammad Musa Mahmodi, the executive director of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, said international troops in Afghanistan should respect human rights and observe international humanitarian laws.

Referring to the rising trend of civilian casualties in Afghanistan, Mahmodi urged the International Security Assistance Forces and NATO soldiers to coordinate their efforts to avoid more civilian casualties.

According to Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, around 1,500 Afghan civilians have been killed and more than 1,600 other injured last year as the result of the operations of international forces.

Mahmodi said that 2009 had the highest rate of civilian casualties in Afghanistan “most of which has been blamed on NATO and international forces”.

Sara Parkinson from Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit said the livelihood of Afghan people has “remarkable worsened” since the invasion of the country in 2001.

Referring to the findings of a research by her Kabul-based institute, Parkinson blamed insecurity and other demographic reasons for the deteriorating livelihood of the Afghan people.

She said economic opportunities are poor in Afghanistan while insecurity has caused people to rely on the “opium economy” to make their ends meet.

Criticising policy goals of international forces in Afghanistan as “unrealistic”, Parkinson blamed the international community for parts of Afghanistan’s problems.

Also speaking in the event, Arezo Qanih from the Educational/Training Centre for Poor Women and Girls of Afghanistan called on the international community to give priority to the preferences of the Afghan nation.

Qanih said economic development, women empowerment and security are the top priorities of Afghanistan, adding that the Afghan problem is not a military issue but a “religious and cultural” problem.

The “Afghan Perspectives on Development and Security” conference was organised by the British and Irish Agencies Group (BAAG).

Afghanistan’s Aid agencies said on Tuesday that the international military intervention in Afghanistan is “failing to deal with the dire poverty afflicting the country”.

They also called for a “radical change” in the strategy of the international coalition in Afghanistan and a “shake-up” in the way aid is delivered.

Referring to increasing loss of lives in Afghanistan, Abdul Basir, director of the British and Irish Agencies Group (BAAG), said “millions of dollars are spent each day on mismanaged or ineffective aid projects by the international forces.”

According to Basir, Afghanistan is the second poorest country in the world after Niger and has the second highest rate of maternal mortality. Children under five have less chance of surviving than anywhere else in the world.

Sayed Jawad Jawed, chair of the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief (ACBAR), the NGO umbrella body in Afghanistan, also said in the event hosted by BAAG that Afghanistan has the potential of eradicating poverty if “international forces look beyond military issues and face up to the challenge of promoting genuine development and better government.”

“Over the past eight years, too much aid has by-passed Afghan institutions and been channeled through military-led teams into areas of conflict. Real development builds the capacity of Afghans to run their own health and education services, and for communities to develop their own livelihoods. It is not about quick fixes,” he said.

333**345**1416

End News / IRNA / News Code 921122



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list