torsdag, mars 15, 2012

What's the price of an Afghan life?

"-Here you have old man! This is how much we pay for our mistakes!"

In Afghanistan, if NATO forces kill a member of your family, it is better in terms of money if he or she comes from Germany or Italy than the United States or Britain.

In the cold calculation of how much to pay for victims of the decade-old war, British forces have doled out as little as US$210, while German forces have paid as much as US$25,000, according to a study by the human rights NGO Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC).

Civilian casualties caused by NATO forces hunting insurgents are a major source of friction between the Afghan government and its Western backers - all the more so after a US soldier gunned down 16 Afghan villagers at the weekend.

"They have to ask themselves the question how much is one's life worth? You can't put a price on it," Rafi Nabi, 33 and unemployed, said in a market in the Afghan capital Kabul.

"If one were to kill an American and offer to compensate their death with money, they wouldn't accept it."

It was unclear if the US intends to pay reparations to the families of 16 people, including children and women, killed by the US staff sergeant in a remote area of the southern province of Kandahar. Eleven victims were said to come from one family.

The US usually pays up to US$2,500 for civilians killed in "lawful" operations such as air strikes, according to an investigation by CIVIC, a rights advocacy group. The study, compiled two years ago, has been regularly updated.

"The shooter clearly violated the laws of war, human rights law and the US military code of justice. In these type of situations, we call for accountability and justice as well as compensation for harm done," Trevor Keck, an investigator with CIVIC, said.

British forces have paid out between US$210 and US$7,000 while German troops provided US$20,000 in cash and a car worth US$5,000 after shooting three people at a checkpoint in 2008, the report said. In 2009, Italy disbursed US$13,500 to the family of a 14-year-old girl who was shot dead, it said.

Based on interviews with NATO and Afghan civilians, CIVIC found that compensation payments plus an apology were key to lowering hostility toward foreign troops in Afghanistan.

There is no standard mechanism for Afghans to report civilian casualties, much less seek compensation, reducing both the hope of redress and any sense that justice is being done. Rules often require even illiterate villagers to decipher which unit came to their home and then go to its main base - sometimes hundreds of kilometers away on unsafe roads. And to complicate matters, most villagers do not readily distinguish between foreign troops from different countries.


With 90,000 troops in Afghanistan, the United States pays up to US$2,500 for civilian deaths and payments above that figure are rare.


Britain has around 9,500 soldiers, mainly in volatile Helmand Province. British forces have paid between US$210 and US$7,000 for deaths.


Germany, with 4,700 troops in Afghanistan, has no set policy for giving assistance to civilians harmed in operations. In August 2008, Germany dished out US$20,000 in cash and a car worth US$5,000 to a family after its troops shot dead three family members at a checkpoint.

Source: A 2010 report by CIVIC

torsdag, mars 08, 2012

Mycket oroligt i Afghanistan nu

Nu börjar det blossa upp rejält i Afghanistan. Attackerna kommer allt mer frekvent och dödstalen stiger som aldrig tidigare. Är det en ny intensifierad taktik Talibaner kör med? Har ISI/ Pakistan förbättrat och förfinat utbildningen, material och förnödenheter till Talibanerna? I vilket fall som helst rapporteras det följande idag: 

Nio poliser dödades på torsdagen i en attack i provinsen Uruzgan i södra Afghanistan. De nio låg och sov inne i en polispostering när rebeller bröt sig in och sköt ihjäl dem. Polisen misstänker att talibaner ligger bakom dådet.
 - Nio poliser är döda. Det fanns tio personer i posteringen, vi misstänker att en av poliserna visade in talibanerna till posteringen, sade den lokale säkerhetschefen Gulab Khan.
Källa: TV4 

 Dessutom har man sprängt ett pansarfordon där sex brittiska soldater har omkommit. Guardian skriver:

The British mission in Afghanistan will continue despite the loss of six soldiers who were caught in a huge explosion that destroyed their armoured vehicle, defence officials have said.
If, as expected, the men are confirmed to have been killed in the blast, it will take the death toll of British personnel killed in Afghanistan to 404. It will also represent the biggest single loss of UK life in a single incident in Afghanistan since 2006, when an ageing RAF Nimrod crashed in the country shortly after mid-air refuelling, with the loss of all 14 people aboard.
 Passing the symbolic milestone of 400 deaths would refocus attention on the reason for the presence of British troops in Afghanistan, the timetable for their removal and the capability of the Afghan army and police force to keep the country secure once coalition troops have left. Källa: The Guardian

Uppenbarligen verkar Talibanernas taktik löna sig då allt fler börjar ifrågasätta den utländska narvaron i Afghanistan. Då måste man fråga sig varför man överhuvudtaget gick in i Afghanistan om man nu åter lämnar landet i Talibanernas händer? Vi får se vad framtiden har i sitt sköte då USA för hemliga samtal med Talibaner i deras nyöppnade kontor i Qatar.