U.S.-funded militias in Afghanistan accused of human rights abuses

Militias in Afghanistan funded by the United States are terrorizing the communities they were supposed to protect, murdering, raping and torturing civilians, including children, extorting illegal taxes and smuggling contraband, according to a damning new report from Human Rights Watch.

Afghan mercenary Commander Azizullah. Militias in Afghanistan funded by the United States are terrorising the communities they were supposed to protect, murdering, raping and torturing civilians, including children, extorting illegal taxes and smuggling contraband, according to a damning new report from Human Rights Watch.In a 102-page report entitled ‘Just Don’t Call It a Militia’ the group documents how the Afghan government and the U.S. military have provided guns and money to paramilitary groups without adequate oversight or accountability. Because of their links to senior Afghan officials, many of these groups operate with impunity.

Their behavior fuels support for the Taliban, and creates insecurity rather than decreasing it. But, under U.S. General David Petraeus, who recently left Afghanistan to head up the Central Intelligence Agency, NATO aggressively pursued a strategy of raising militias as a security quick-fix ahead of its departure in 2014.

The Independent

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