The Afghan government should prosecute militants loyal to First Vice-President for killing and other abuses against civilians in Afghanistan’s northern Faryab province in late June 2016, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Sunday.
HRW has said that the organization has interviewed residents of the affected areas later in July.
The Junbish militia who is accused on this report is loyal to First Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum.
President Ashraf Ghani has reportedly ordered an investigation into attacks by the Junbish militia, the report said.
“The killings in Faryab are the latest in a long record of atrocities by Dostum’s militia forces,” said Patricia Gossman, senior Afghanistan researcher at Human Rights Watch, “The fact that these forces, and Vice-President Dostum himself, have never been held accountable, has undermined security in northern Afghanistan.”
According to a report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), on June 26, Afghan army and Junbish forces conducted a military operation against Taliban forces in Faryab province, in which the militia forces killed at least 13 civilians and wounded 32 others. After Taliban forces left the area, Junbish fighters entered four villages and assaulted villagers whom they accused of supporting the Taliban, killing five and injuring 12.
Hashmat, 35, a resident of the area in an interview has said,” It was about 8 a.m. I was in my house when about 200 Ranger cars of Junbish militia came into the village. The ANA [Afghan National Army] was not with them. They were carrying guns like Kalashnikovs and shouting “You’re Taliban!” and firing as people came out of their houses”.
Some villagers has told Human Rights Watch that regular Afghanistan military forces stood by when the Junbish forces entered the villages. Although they did not participate in the assaults, they did nothing to stop them or apprehend militia fighters committing offenses.
“Militias like Junbish should have been disbanded long ago,” Gossman said. “But because such forces have powerful patrons they have continued to commit abuses with impunity. President Ghani should fulfill his promise to disarm all such illegal groups and ensure that they play no role in the security forces.”