Arab Today, arab today afghan nomad clashes raise fears of ethnic strife
Last Updated : GMT 00:23:52
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Afghan nomad clashes raise fears of ethnic strife

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Afghan nomad clashes raise fears of ethnic strife

Kabul - AFP

Bloody raids by nomads armed with machine guns and rocket launchers on villages near Kabul are raising fears about a return to ethnic conflict in Afghanistan 18 months before NATO combat troops leave. For more than a century, ethnic Pashtuns known as Kuchis have wintered in the south and east where the weather is better, and migrated in the summer to let their herds graze in the cooler north. But a land dispute between the Kuchis and the settled ethnic Hazaras dating back 130 years has since 2005 disintegrated into seasonal violence in the Kajab valley west of the capital. With NATO forces due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, there are fears that the country could slide back to the chaos seen in the 1990s, when ethnically aligned factions fought a bloody civil war. From the early 1990s to 2001 fighting between the Pashtun-dominated Taliban and Hazaras led to tens of thousands of deaths, particularly on the Hazara side. \"Afghans have suffered a lot in internal and mainly ethnic wars in the past, and this problem, if left unsolved could hurt the volatile national unity among Afghans even further,\" said author and analyst Waheed Mujda. In early June, up to 2,000 Kuchi nomads swept into Kajab, according to residents and local officials, ransacking several villages and burning hundreds of buildings. Most of the valley\'s population of ethnic Hazaras, who are also part of the Shiite Muslim minority, fled. According to villagers, the Kuchis killed four Hazaras and seven soldiers. Two months on from the raid, Kajab looks like a post-apocalyptic wasteland dotted with gutted, fire-blackened mud buildings. \"In each burnt home, there was a Koran. When the Americans set fire to them in the spring, the whole world cried out,\" said village elder Ewaz, 55. \"But here, no one\'s said anything. Who are we? What have we done? We\'re also Muslims, aren\'t we.\" The madrassa in Dahane Gandob village was almost totally destroyed, apparently by rocket fire. The walls of the seminary\'s mosque are pockmarked with small-calibre bullet holes. A prayer room was saved, though the carpets were stolen. The village\'s two medical clinics were badly damaged -- the older one was completely destroyed and the other, which was not yet in service, is now unusable. Local authorities and villagers say there were Taliban among the Kuchi raiders, suggesting that the Pashtun-dominated insurgent group could be using the Kuchis to win land away from the government and its NATO allies. Kajab is in Behsoud district of Wardak, a province dominated by Pashtuns where the local government denies what is widely assumed to be a strong Taliban presence. In neighbouring Uruzgan province last week, a Hazara local police commander reportedly rounded up and killed nine Pashtun civilians in revenge for the death of two local Hazaras. Authorities say the case is still under investigation. Behsoud lawmaker Ghulan Hussein Nasseri accused the government of President Hamid Karzai, himself a Pashtun, of discriminating against Hazaras and said they would defend themselves if they were not given protection. \"The attacks of the nomads were under the support of the government,\" Nasseri said. He said he warned the national and provincial authorities the day before the attack and on the day itself, but claimed the army only arrived in Kajab five hours after the Kuchis left. Shahidullah Shahid, spokesman for the Wardak governor, blamed a lack of resources. \"We don\'t have enough security forces in the area, although we have asked the central government to send us more, and even make a special force to control the Kuchis and Hazara brothers\' conflict,\" he said. The clashes stemmed from a \"legal issue\" which was beyond the remit of the provincial authorities and should be solved through judicial channels, he added. The nomads say they want to reclaim land given to them by a royal decree 130 years ago, which the settled communities have been living on for generations. Hazaras make up an estimated 15 to 20 percent of the population. They suffered brutal persecution under the 1996-2001 Taliban rule, but have prospered since the 2001 US-led invasion. Elay Ershad, a Kuchi lawmaker, accused the Hazaras of initiating the violence. \"Hazaras said they bought that land from the government, which is not true. Hazaras start to attack Kuchis. They have big fights,\" he said. A conflict also erupted last year in Laghman province, a Pashtun province east of Kabul, he said, arguing that giving the Kuchis their own land was the only solution. Many Kajab residents left for good after the violence in June, abandoning their farms in what is a very green and well-cultivated valley. \"We voted for a government to protect the people. If they don\'t, I see a very dark future for this country,\" warned Nasseri.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today afghan nomad clashes raise fears of ethnic strife Arab Today, arab today afghan nomad clashes raise fears of ethnic strife

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Heart of Turkish Riviera is Alluring Seaside Escape

GMT 11:11 2017 Tuesday ,28 March

Heart of Turkish Riviera is Alluring Seaside Escape
Arab Today, arab today 5 Crafty Must-Have Limited-Budget Ideas

GMT 17:03 2017 Saturday ,25 March

5 Crafty Must-Have Limited-Budget Ideas
Arab Today, arab today Turkey says ends its military operation

GMT 07:53 2017 Thursday ,30 March

Turkey says ends its military operation
Arab Today, arab today Wadih al-Azzazi calls for activating news coverage

GMT 19:29 2017 Thursday ,30 March

Wadih al-Azzazi calls for activating news coverage
View News in Arabic - Country: أخبار المدن
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Disaster costs nearly double to $175bn

GMT 10:42 2017 Tuesday ,28 March

Disaster costs nearly double to $175bn
Arab Today, arab today Campaign fights sexual harassment in Egypt

GMT 11:14 2017 Tuesday ,28 March

Campaign fights sexual harassment in Egypt
Arab Today, arab today 'Underwater wasteland' worries

GMT 10:32 2017 Thursday ,30 March

'Underwater wasteland' worries
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful

GMT 13:38 2017 Monday ,06 March

Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes, VW recall million vehicles in China

GMT 09:16 2017 Wednesday ,29 March

Mercedes, VW recall million vehicles in China
Arab Today, arab today Uber grounds self-driving cars

GMT 09:11 2017 Monday ,27 March

Uber grounds self-driving cars
Arab Today, arab today Singer Rowida Attiya will issue a new song

GMT 07:38 2017 Tuesday ,28 March

Singer Rowida Attiya will issue a new song
Arab Today, arab today Trump moves to roll back Obama climate measures

GMT 08:39 2017 Wednesday ,29 March

Trump moves to roll back Obama climate measures

GMT 18:57 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Accessories designer reveals her new collection

GMT 09:28 2017 Tuesday ,28 March

Trump poised to roll back climate protections

GMT 13:26 2017 Friday ,24 February

Expresses Algerian history by woody figures

GMT 07:50 2017 Thursday ,30 March

Breaking trans barriers one barbell

GMT 09:02 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Laptop ban sparks ire

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 19:27 2017 Saturday ,11 March

Boualsof launches "Priestess Kahina" collection
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday