Afghan drive to disarm militias

Afghanistan has launched an ambitious plan to disarm 100,000 militiamen to curb lawlessness and strengthen President Hamid Karzai's grip on power.

    Militiamen will exchange their weapons for jobs

    The campaign kicked off in the northern city of Kunduz on Friday. It is designed to reduce the power of warlords and make way for a new multi-ethnic army.

    A pilot programme has been underway in Kunduz City, 250 kilometres (155 miles) north of the capital Kabul since Monday. A senior defence official told AFP that so far 982 of a targeted 1000 soldiers had handed over their weapons to a Defence Ministry Commission, taking the first step towards demobilisation  and reintegration into civilian life.

    Over the next two weeks they will be awarded medals, given clothes and a food allowance and assisted in starting a new post-military life.

    But the UN-backed campaign, Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration, has more than a hint of farce.

    Many of the men had surrendered their weapons to their own commanders two years ago and their guns have been in a locked away as part of a locally driven disarmament initiative in the quiet, rural Kinduz province.

    Now they are being given the same weapon again which they will hand back after parading in front of President Karzai and other  dignitaries to officially launch the DDR plan.

    Each militiaman who hands in a weapon will receive $200 in cash. And the price of buying a similar gun on the illegal weapons market? $100! 

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.