Recently hundreds of Afghan families were displaced from rural areas. Inside one province, they left their houses and moved to the crowded city of Kunduz in Northeastern Afghanistan.
Due to military clean-up operations on insecure parts of Kunduz province by local Afghan security forces and rare supporting international air forces, many families are severely displaced. According to local officials the aim of the current military operation is the removal of Taliban militants and other armed opposition to the Afghan government by targeting their hideouts.
The inhabitants of the province have complained of worsening security in many districts and suburbs of Kunduz city. Residents accuse local authorities of inattention to civilian security and stability. They said the current officials are involved in all their ongoing difficulties and the situation is fragile, with local Afghan security institutions not able to protect them.
Nasrullah Mandukheil, a 35 year-old man resident of the Dasht-e Archi district, said, “the local officials are pretty much corrupt. They’re involved in every single issue in this province, specifically security challenges. If authorities honestly wanted, they could remove Taliban and Arbaki (militia groups). They could destroy their hideouts, it’s a pretty easy job for them because they have enough security forces and opportunities but they won’t to do this duty.”
On other hand, Assadullah Khan, another district resident, said, ”At least two months ago we left our village. Due to unsatisfictory security, people couldn’t keep living there. Some of us joined the Local Afghan Police (ALP) to protect our security. However they were killed by the Taliban but the Government never considered them […] or investigated their cases.”
The homeless people who now live nearby to Kunduz accuse both the Afghan government and the Taliban for their homelessness and the damage to their properties in the area.
Buzi Kandahari, resident of an area about five kilometers from Kunduz city reports, “Their houses have been burnt by gun firing and used artillery. Usually, they didn’t knew who fired toward them.”
Mullah Khair Mohammad, another area resident, said, “My house is completely burnt-out. That you can see. The question is why? Because of Afghan government and Taliban gunfire, I’ve lost all my property that I brought as a migrant from Pakistan. Now what should I do, and how can I save my children’s lives?”
Local Kunduz authorities accept residents’ assertions that Taliban militants now control many portions of the province (they’ve penetrated four districts in particular). But Ghulam Sakhi Baghlani, the governor, told reporters at a press conference that although some parts of Kunduz remain insecure, the goal of the ongoing military operation is to clean-up insurgency and recover stability and push the Taliban back again.
Meanwhile, Provincial Police spokesperson Sarwar Hussaini said, “Military purification would will continue toward our goal which is secure areas at last.”
Some civil society activists in the province say the main reason for insecurity in the entire country, and in Kunduz in particular, is due to the controversial delay on presidential election results that led to a slowdown in development and a breakdown in governmental systems. But not only security is important, they say. More economic development is needed to bring down the youth unemployment rate, a key factor in insecurity and instability throughout Afghanistan.
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