Arming the Enemy in Afghanistan

Arming the Enemy in Afghanistan

Only 125 kilometres south of Kabul, Ghazni province is rightly regarded as unsafe. Taleban units operate in most areas, and frequently raid military checkpoints or ambush convoys.

It therefore makes sense for the authorities to be issuing higher-than-normal amounts of ammunition to the security forces deployed in Ghazni.

What they have failed to spot, however, is that some of this ammunition is being handed over to the enemy. Sometimes this involves a straight sale at bargain prices, while in other cases it amounts to a form of tribute, presumably in the hope it will deter Taleban attacks.

Hamidullah Nawrozi, a member of the provincial council, told IWPR that numerous reports had come in about the problem. The worst offenders seemed to be the police rather than the army.

Ghazni’s deputy governor, Muhammad Ali Ahmadi, says the flow of items reaching the Taleban mostly consists of rifle rounds, but has also included vehicles, generators and solar panels.

Khalil Hotak, a coordinator with the Afghan Local Police, said the illicit trade was worse in the Andar, Aband, Qarabagh and Gelan districts, with a case of Kalashnikov rounds going for 15,000 afghanis, or about 260 US dollars.

Colonel Muhammad Hanif, the chief military prosecutor in Ghazni province, says his office has three investigations in train concerning Afghan Local Police in the Deh Yak district. Police there are accused of giving the Taleban their weapons and ammunition, and ceding control of a checkpoint.

Sayed Rahmatullah Alizada is an IWPR-trained reporter in Ghazni province.

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