Hundreds of Afghans marched through Kabul on Oct. 6—eve of the 10-year anniversary of the US military campaign in their country—to condemn United States forces as occupiers and demand the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops. About 300 men and women gathered early in the morning near a shrine in the city’s center, holding placards and banners accusing the US of “massacring” civilians while denouncing President Hamid Karzai as a puppet of Washington. “Occupation—atrocities—brutality,” read one sign, held by two women with scarves covering their head and face. (Reuters, Oct. 6)
The anniversary comes just after Oxfam International released a study finding that while the standard of Afghanistan’s security forces is slowly improving, they are still responsible for human rights violations such as rape, murder and torture. Oxfam also urged Afghanistan to suspend the Afghan Local Police program, under which villagers are given rudimentary training and armed to defend against the insurgents, noting claims they are merely the private militia of local warlords. (Sydney Morning Herald, Oct. 3)
See our last post on Afghanistan.