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Plans to disband local police sparks worries

AT News

KABUL: Some commanders of the Afghan Local Police (ALP), a militia-style force fighting against Taliban, have expressed concerns over the force’s disbandment by the government, saying their lives would be in danger by Taliban with whom they fought for several years after their abolishment.

The ALP was formed by the United States during Hamid Karzai’s presidency in 2010 with the aim of fighting against Taliban insurgents in remote areas where lack of army and police was felt.

Now, the government announced the force would be disbanded mostly because Washington has reduced aid to the Afghan security forces ahead of its military withdrawal from the war-hit country.

“Our clashes with the Taliban have changed to personal animosities. The government’s decision to cancel the local police is unilateral. The local police have enemies now and face many problems. Our fate should be clear, every commander of local police is unhappy with the decision,” said Mohammad Toofan, a local police commander in the northern province of Balkh, where he led 250 forces.

But some people are happy with the local police abolishment, accusing them of a weak job in providing security.

“Unfortunately the problems have been doubled. The local police were given arms and weapons but they did not do enough for security. There are more thefts, robberies and other crimes in the areas where the local police are stationed,” said Gholam Ishan, a resident of Kunduz province in the northeast.

The ministry of interior assures local police forces would be recruited to other defense and security forces.

Tareq Aryan, spokesman of the interior ministry, said Saturday that 10,000 of the local police would be recruited to the army and the rest 10,000 to the national police.

Massoud Andarabi, acting interior minister said that the local police would be completely disbanded within three months.

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