Connect with us


Afghan-German flood wall partnership will directly benefit 30,000 Baghlan residents

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: July 30, 2020)

The German government this week facilitated the signing of a contract for the construction of a flood protection wall in Baghlan province in order to safeguard the lives of Pul-e Khumri city residents. 

On Tuesday, Baghlan’s Provincial Governor Taj Mohammad Jahid and the Director of Lower Kunduz River Basin Agency (LKRBA) signed the contract for the flood protection wall.

The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) will support the project’s technical implementation together with LKRBA and finance the project at a total cost of about AFN 67.7 million.

At the signing ceremony, Jahid, stated: “I express my thanks to the German government for funding this project. It will positively impact this area in the long term.”

Recently, flooding heavily eroded the Baladori Intake on the Lower Kunduz River, affecting the livelihoods of 30,000 residents along the Baladori Canal and in the Pul-i Khumri city centre. 

Several buildings close to the riverbank were destroyed especially as existing flood protection measures are in poor condition. 

According to the German Cooperation with Afghanistan website, the project was initiated by the LKRBA in 2016 to mitigate the risks of flooding.

The next step involved the Provincial Development Council (PDC) which prioritized the project in its development plan and now, construction work is expected to begin within two months.

The Provincial Director of Baghlan River Basin Agency, Asifullah Rahimi, explained: “With this important project’s implementation, many houses and community lands will be protected from flooding. Also, the intake of Baladori Canal will be strengthened to supply more water for about 400 ha (2,000 jeribs) of agricultural land.”

In addition to construction work, RIDF will offer on-the-job training, remote coaching and mentoring sessions for the engineers and managers working on the project. 

“The aim is to develop the department’s capacities to design, construct and maintain similar infrastructure projects independently in the future,” the RIDF statement read. 

The KfW Development Bank implements the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) program on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). 

RIDF aims to improve the living conditions in northern Afghanistan by providing basic infrastructure and empowering administration and citizen groups to plan, implement and operate infrastructure projects. 

Infrastructure measures include the construction of roads, irrigation canals, flood protection walls, and schools as well as the development of the power grid.


Pakistan invites Afghan cricket team on official tour

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: November 25, 2020)

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has invited Afghanistan’s national cricket team on an official tour for the first time, officials said Tuesday.

This historic move follows the recent visit to Kabul by Prime Minister Imran Khan – one of the game’s greatest players.

“We’ll try to look for a possible window for this tour – and if not 2021, we’ll definitely try to plan a series in 2022 season,” said PCB chief executive Wasim Khan.

“A cricket series between Pakistan and Afghanistan could be a harbinger of love and peace between the two countries,” he told AFP.

An Afghan national side toured Pakistan in May 2011 but they only played a second-string side and matches were not given first-class status.

The two countries have played only a single official one-day match and one Twenty20 international – both in the United Arab Emirates.

Continue Reading


Taliban ignoring calls for reduction in violence: US envoy

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: November 23, 2020)

Despite concerted efforts on the part of the United States to get the Taliban to reduce its levels of violence in the country, the group has failed to listen to calls from the US and in fact dislike being criticized.

Speaking virtually to the media on Monday, the US Chargé d’Affaires to Afghanistan Ross Wilson said the United States has not been able to convince the Taliban to scale down on violent attacks.

There has been a marked increase in violence by the Taliban since the signing of the US-Taliban deal in February in Doha.

In line with this, Wilson said: “We are deeply concerned about the Taliban’s [increase in] violence since February 29, it is not consistent with the terms that we believe we agreed upon with the Taliban.

“We have told the Taliban this very clearly and directly many times, they don’t like the criticism from us, they don’t like the implied criticism from the United Nations, from the EU from other international communities.

“I regret deeply that we have not yet had more success in and seeing or generally having resulting decrease in the level of violence of the very significant reduction that we believe was part of the deal in February and that has not materialized; certainly not that we have expected or that we would like to expect,” said Wilson.

Wilson added that he has also spoken to a number of media outlets to address challenges and threats against journalists and added that efforts are underway to find solutions.

“We strongly support free and independent media in this country; last week with media figures [we] talked about specific problem of assassinations, threats against journalists and how we in this country and other international firms can help to address that problem,” Wilson added.

Experts believe that the Taliban continue to use violence to gain points in peace talks.

Continue Reading


Nine Australian soldiers commit suicide in just three weeks

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: November 23, 2020)

Nine Australian soldiers have taken their own lives in just three weeks amid weeks of discussions and media coverage of alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, the Daily Mail reported. 

The four-year inquiry uncovered a ‘shameful record’ of unlawful killings that took place outside the ‘heat of battle’.

An edited version of the report was released on Thursday after a four-year inquiry uncovered a “shameful record” of unlawful killings. 

The Daily Mail reported that in the past three weeks one female and eight male soldiers, aged between early 20s and 50s, have taken their own lives. 

According to the news report, so many soldiers taking their own lives in such a short space of time is believed to be unprecedented in recent Australian military history.

It is believed the stress of the inquiry – which uncovered evidence of 39 murders by Australian Special Forces – played a part in some of their suicides, the Daily Mail stated.

‘I think some of the media [reports of alleged war crimes] has been painting everyone with the same brush and people seem to have forgotten about innocence until proven guilty – and that adds additional stress,’ ex-infantry soldier and veterans’ mental health advocate Neil ‘Wally’ Wallace told The Advertiser. 

However, the Mail reported that there is no suggestion the nine late ADF members had anything to do with the alleged war crimes documented in the report.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation said in reaction to the report: “There is no way to define this brutality. There is no way to explain what has happened. It is incomprehensible.”

“These are crimes against innocent people, and I was shocked. At the same time, the Australian government has come very clear with it – about what has happened.”

Human Rights Watch Australia director Elaine Pearson meanwhile told Al Jazeera that the Afghan victims deserve swift and independent justice for the “deliberate and cold-blooded killings”.

“Ultimately, if we’re talking about accountability, this should not just stop with the people who pulled the trigger and killed these people in Afghanistan,” she told the BBC.

“This is also about command responsibility and so I think that it’s very important that those who knew or who should have known are also held to account and are held criminally liable for these acts.”

Continue Reading