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Afghanistan
Week 24 12 June 2012

Review

Comprehensive Information on Complex Crises

INSIDE THIS ISSUE


Economic Development Governance & Rule of Law Security & Force Protection Social & Strategic Infrastructure

This document provides a weekly overview of developments in Afghanistan from 04 11 June 2012, with hyper-links to source material highlighted in blue and underlined in the text. For more information on the topics below or other issues pertaining to events in Afghanistan, contact the members of the Afghanistan Team, or visit our website at www.cimicweb.org.

Economic Development

Steven A. Zyck steve.zyck@cimicweb.org

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he International Labour Organization (ILO) this past week released a report entitled Afghanistan: Time to Move to Sustainable Jobs. The report notes that the Afghan labour market is highly vulnerable to any future reductions in international financial assistance given, in part, the international communitys past focus on short-term jobs rather than long-term socio-economic development. The ILO study further suggests that employment will become an even more significant challenge given that the countrys labour market increases by up to 400,000 people per year due to high birth rates. Minister of Commerce and Industries Anwar ul-Haq Ahadi has announced that the Afghan government is establishing a committee to control the price of fuel in Afghanistan and to ensure a steady supply of oil and gas, according to Pajhwok Afghan News. The proposed committee would include representatives of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI), other government agencies and members of both houses of the Afghan parliament. Attempting to allay concerns among fuel traders, Ahadi highlighted that this committee was not seeking to create obstacles for the private sector. The Fresh Fruit Export Union of Kandahar (FFEUK), which was established by traders active in Kandahar provinces fruit and vegetable markets, has completed work on a new packing facility in Kandahar, according to a press release. The facility contains pre-chillers and cold storage equipment to prevent Afghan fruits and vegetables from spoiling before being exported by air via Kabul or by sea via the Pakistani port at Karachi. Meanwhile, another trade group, the Dried Fruit Export Association of Kandahar (DFEAK), announced that it is currently establishing a new processing line that will size, shell and clean nuts and dried fruit. Bloomberg reports that the Russian government is willing to increase its financial assistance to Afghanistan. This commitment was expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin while meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Beijing. We are talking about reconstructing what was built during the time of the Soviet Union and new projects, Putin said. He also reportedly promised to continue providing military assistance to Afghanistan. Russia is training Afghan technicians to service 21 Russianmade Mi-17 transport helicopters that the United States has ordered for Afghanistans armed forces.

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For further information, contact: Afghanistan Team Leader steve.zyck@cimicweb.org The Afghanistan Team afghanistan@cimicweb.org

In other regional news, India will host a conference to boost international privatesector investment in Afghanistan on 28 June, according to Pajhwok. The event, which comes shortly before the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan, will reportedly feature more than 50 Afghan firms, of which 10 are owned by women, whose presence would spur direct business-tobusiness links.

The CFC has established a page dedicated to the July 2012 Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan. At that page you will be able to read news pertaining to conference preparations and the on-going transition process in Afghanistan along with relevant research reports and previous international agreements on Afghanistan. This page builds upon the success of the CFCs page on the December 2011 Bonn Conference.

According to India Times, Indian officials confirmed that representatives of the Indian state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corporation will soon visit Afghanistan. India is reportedly interested in pursuing oil and gas exploration rights in Afghanistan and may bid on six oil and gas blocks in northern Afghanistan later this year. India has previously won rights to Afghan natural resources, though currently China holds the only large oil and gas contract in Afghanistan, which was awarded to the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) last year. Experts indicate that Indias assistance to Afghanistan has helped it to build a high degree of goodwill there. Lastly, Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, head of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), tells Pajhwok that traders had recently issued a series of recommendations for simultaneously promoting economic development and stability. These included reforming government departments, streamlining revenue collection, identifying revenue resources, combating corruption and preventing unnecessary expenses. The traders also pushed the Afghan government to take steps to mitigate the economic effects of the ongoing transition process, which will be accompanied by cuts in foreign spending and aid.

Governance & Rule of Law

Stefanie Nijssen stefanie.nijssen@cimicweb.org

he Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), composed of China, Russia and four Central Asian states, announced on 07 June that it has granted Afghanistan observer status, according to the Associated Press (AP). The article states the move is intended to boost Afghanistans involvement in the SCOs efforts to improve regional economic integration and combat drug trafficking, extremism and terrorism. According to the Financial Times, Chinese President Hu Jintao said the organisation will insist that regional powers call the shots in regional affairs, prevent turbulences from outside the region, and play a bigger role in the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan. On the side-lines of the SCO summit, the Chinese and Afghan presidents signed a joint declaration pledging wide-ranging cooperation after the departure of most foreign troops at the end of 2014, according to the AP. The two countries agreed to exchange intelligence and strengthen cooperation against terrorism, illegal immigration, illegal arms transfers and drug trafficking. China also pledged to provide a USD 23.8 million grant to the Afghan government in 2012. Andrew Small, an expert on China at the European Marshall Fund, told Reuters that China has signalled it will not contribute to a multilateral fund to sustain the Afghan National Security Forces but could directly train Afghan security personnel. The BBC reports that NATO has signed deals with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to use their territory for moving vehicles and military equipment overland from Afghanistan to Europe. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a press conference that [t]hese agreements will give us a range of new options and the robust and flexible transport network we need. NATO has already started pulling out some equipment, but tens of thousands more vehicles, shipping containers and arms will have to be removed over the next two years. While the cheapest route to remove goods from Afghanistan passes through Pakistan, the Pakistani border has been closed to NATO forces since US airstrikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November 2011. The United States has been negotiating with Pakistan to reopen the route, but talks have made little progress thus far, according to the article. Pakistans Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, said the United States should apologise for the November air raid if it wants Pakistan to reopen key supply routes into Afghanistan, according to Khaama Press. In related news, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has said the US government is reaching the limits of its patience with Pakistan because of the safe havens the country offers to insurgents in neighbouring Afghanistan, according to The Guardian. Hezb-e Islami Afghanistan (HIA) spokesman Ghairat Baheer told Pajhwok Afghan News that the militant group has conveyed to the United Nations its desire for a meaningful peace dialogue. We told the UN special representative that HIA believes in sincere, meaningful and result-oriented talks, he said. However, Baheer further stated that HIA suspended negotiations with the Afghan government following the signing of a strategic partnership agreement with the United States. He also noted that HIA had been discouraged by the Afghan and US governments lukewarm response to HIAs past proposals regarding negotiations. The Telegraph reports that an Afghan drug lord who used his revenues to fund and arm the Taliban faces a minimum of 20 years in jail. Prosecutors estimate Haji Bagcho sent heroin to more than 20 countries and was once responsible for trafficking one fifth of the worlds heroin supply. The article states that his conviction was a success story for an international effort which has often struggled against the Afghan opium trade and the international drug smuggling networks. US Drug Enforcement Administration agents working with undercover Afghan police officers recorded a series of drug deals where Bagcho sold them kilogrammes of heroin destined for the United States. He also reportedly offered an Afghan border police commander a blank cheque if he would tip him off about drug raids and help him transport his product. Regular payments of cash, weapons and food were made to three Taliban commanders, including Maulawi Kabir, the insurgents shadow governor in Nangarhar. After his arrest in Pakistan in 2009, Bagcho was handed over to Afghan custody and extradited to the United States. In March, he was found guilty of conspiracy, distribution of heroin for Listen to the CFC Afghanistan importation into the United States and narco-terrorism. Several more alleged Afghan Review Podcast on your computer, drug lords are awaiting trial in the United States and Afghanistan. However, Western smartphone, tablet or other device. officials cited in the article point out that networks are often quickly revived by other Click here to access the podcasts. traffickers and that some of the countrys most senior opium kingpins are deemed un-

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12 June 2012

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touchable because of their political connections to Afghan government. In related news, US military officers in Ghazni province say, in several cases, they have been powerless to prevent the release of detained insurgents despite strong evidence they had attacked international forces, reports The Telegraph. The US officers say the insurgents were released after providing sizable bribes to corrupt officials. A former Afghan intelligence chief from Ghazni confirmed that the practice had been common for some time. In one example, an insurgent caught in Muqur district on 31 March with eight homemade bombs was released two weeks later without ever facing trial. Musa Khan Akbarzada, governor of Ghazni, denied any knowledge of the alleged corruption. President Hamid Karzai has called on lawmakers to cut short their 45-day summer recess and convene in Kabul for an advisory meeting to discuss mechanisms for combating corruption, Tolo News reports. Several MPs reacted to President Karzais summons by saying that he should start this process by cleaning up his own office. A lawmaker from Kandahar, Abdul Jabar Qahraman, said the current government lacks the political will and commitment necessary to fight corruption. The meeting is scheduled to take place ahead of the international Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan in July, where the international community is expected to discuss what conditions (e.g., pertaining to corruption) may be attached to future financial assistance for the Afghan government. The lower house of the Afghan parliament, the Wolesi Jirga, has formed a 10-member committee to prepare a comprehensive policy on good governance and corruption to be presented at the meeting on 21 June, Pajhwok states. The United Nations dismissed three Afghan officials working for its USD 1.4 billion Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA) for alleged mismanagement, UN and Western officials told The Wall Street Journal. The firings come as the United Nations Development Programme investigates misconduct at the fund, which pays the salaries for the Afghan National Police. Among those removed from their posts were the trust funds deputy project manager, its finance officer and a fund administrator. The Meshrano Jirga, or upper house of the Afghan parliament, has unanimously approved a bill on the authority and composition of the judiciary, according to Pajhwok. Already endorsed by the lower house, the bill says the Supreme Court shall interpret constitutional provisions on the authority of the judiciary. A bill concerning narcotics was also approved. A member of the Legislative Commission, Mohammad Hassan Hotak, said the new narcotics law allows those convicted by a special counter-narcotics court to choose whether they serve the final third of their prison sentence in their native province or in Kabul.

Security & Force Protection

Mark Checchia mark.checchia@cimicweb.org

rench Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Kabul after a Taliban suicide attacker killed four French troops on 09 June, reports Agence France-Presse. The male suicide bomber, dressed in a burqa, approached the French soldiers on patrol in Kapisa province and detonated his explosives, killing the four soldiers and wounding five others. Most of Frances 3,500 troops are stationed in Kapisa province. Newly-elected French President Francois Hollande said in spite of this attack, the withdrawal of French troops by the end of 2012 would begin this July and continue on schedule. An official with Afghanistans National Directorate of Security (NDS) announced that 15 suspects, including a deputy shadow Taliban governor and several school teachers, have been arrested in connection with a series of poisonings at girls schools in Takhar province, Tolo News reports. More than 800 girls have fallen ill at six different schools in the last few weeks after apparently inhaling poisonous gas, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. NDS spokesman Lutfullah Mashal said that the Afghan intelligence agency has documents that prove Taliban insurgents were collaborating with members of Pakistans intelligence agency to poison students in Takhar province. The Taliban denies involvement in the poisonings and urges punishment for those responsible. During their time in power (1996-2001), the Taliban deemed female attendance at school un-Islamic. Abu Yahya al-Libi, considered to be al Qaedas second-in-command, was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan on 04 June, CBS News reports. US officials told The New York Times that al-Libi was targeted by a missile attack in North Waziristan near the Afghan border, where the Taliban and al Qaeda have a strong presence. Pakistani officials said that four missiles were fired at a suspected hideout in North Waziristan, killing al-Libi and four others. A US official told CBS News that al-Libi was among al Qaedas most experienced and versatile leaders operational trainer and Central Shura head and played a critical role in the groups planning against the West, providing oversight of the external operations efforts. Al-Libi had mistakenly been reported dead after a December 2009 drone missile attack in South Waziristan. Two roadside bombs killed four policemen and one civilian in the eastern part of the country on 05 June, according to the Associated Press (AP). The police chief in Wardak province said a roadside bomb killed four officers and wounded another as they were traveling in their vehicle. In the second incident, the deputy police chief in Ghazni province said one civilian was killed and two others injured when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb. Tolo News says at least 22 people were killed and as many as 50 others were wounded in a twin suicide attack at a busy market in Kandahar province on 06 June. Launching the attack, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive-laden motorbike. As people rushed to assist the survivors, a second attacker set off explosives in a nearby car, according to provincial spokesman Jawid Faisal. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. 12 June 2012 Page 3

A pre-dawn NATO airstrike is blamed for the deaths of as many as 18 civilians in Logar province on 06 June, Pajhwok Afghan News reports. A police official said militants fired on an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) patrol; the patrol called in an airstrike, which hit an area where a wedding party had gathered. The police official said seven insurgents were also killed in the airstrike; although the provincial governors spokesman denied that any militants were killed. While initial ISAF assessment after the strike did not mention civilian deaths, ISAF Commander General John Allen later visited the site of the attack on 08 June and issued an apology for any civilian deaths which may have occurred as a result of the airstrike, the AP reports. General Allen said that, by apologising, the international military coalition was not yet formally claiming responsibility for the civilian deaths. Lets let the investigation play out, he told the AP. Afghan security forces are tracking down 14 inmates who escaped from a prison in Sar-e Pul province on 07 June, CNN reports. Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of the Interior (MoI), said that explosives had been smuggled into the prison and were used to blast an escape route through which more than 30 prisoners fled. He said that three inmates died in the blast, that 18 were recaptured quickly and that 14 others, including four Taliban members, were still on the loose. A pregnant woman and three of her relatives were killed on the way to the hospital where she was to give birth, the BBC reports. The ambulance in which they were traveling struck a landmine or roadside bomb on 11 June in Sar-e Pul province, local officials said. The Afghan MoI spokesman blamed the Taliban for the attack. Two US Army pilots died following a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistans Ghazni province on 06 June. The US Army said the aircraft was engaged by enemy forces but did not provide any further details regarding the crash, according to the News Observer.

Social & Strategic Infrastructure

Rainer Gonzalez rainer.gonzalez@cimicweb.org


Humanitarian Update The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has released the Humanitarian Bulletin Afghanistan Issue 03, 01-30 April 2012. The Bulletin provides information on natural disasters and conflict as well as updates from several humanitarian clusters focused on issues such as water, sanitation, health, hygiene and nutrition. OCHA presents a 2012 Natural Hazards Calendar for Afghanistan that shows the months when different sorts of hazards are most likely to occur.

he Chinese government has shown interest in building a pipeline from Turkmenistan to China via Afghanistan and Tajikistan, reports Pajhwok Afghan News. The announcement was made by Jiang Jiemin, chairman of the state-run China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), in a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai during the 12 th Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit. CNPC has already been awarded a contract to exploit an oil field in northern Afghanistan that is anticipated to generate USD 7 billion in revenues for the Afghan government over the coming decades. CNPC offered assistance to carry out technical and economic feasibility studies for the potential pipeline connecting China to Turkmenistan as well as for additional oil and gas fields in the Amu Darya basin in northern Afghanistan.

The United States and Afghanistan have inked three key memorandums of cooperation to develop and boost the infrastructure sector in Afghanistan, reports Pajhwok. They cover three key sectors: civil aviation, road transport and mines. The memoranda Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs were signed by John Porcari, US Deputy Secretary of Transportation, Daouid Ali Najafi, Afghan Minister of Transportation and Civil Aviation, Najeebullah Aoudjan, Minister of Public Works, and Wahidullah Shahrani, Minister of Mines. Porcari noted that transportation is the foundation for future prosperity in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Aoudjan warned construction companies that those who fail to execute infrastructure projects according to the terms of their contracts will be referred to the Attorney Generals Office for legal action, reports Pajhwok. Aoudjan said that several road projects in recent years have been of low quality given that many of the roads were damaged even before the expiry of the guarantee period. So far, the ministry has sent an undetermined number of warning letters to the companies that have built roads of an unacceptably low quality. The United States Army Corps of Engineers has awarded more than USD 200 million in construction and service contracts, reports Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System. The largest contract, with a value of USD 120 million, was awarded to a US-based company, Global Integrated Strategies. The construction contracts will fund a variety of projects such as lighting and provision of electricity in military bases and detention centres, troop housing for the Afghanistan National Army as well as construction of police headquarters and fire installations. An Abu Dhabi-based company, Al-Watania, has announced the development of a modern and integrated model town located 25 km from Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, reports Pajhwok. The project, which will provide housing for 30,000 people once completed, was inaugurated by the Rashiduddin Mohammadi, former Afghan Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on behalf of Al12 June 2012 Page 4

Watania. The new township will be made up of different facilities, including schools, hospitals, mosques, recreational parks, a police station, a university and other civic amenities. Mahmmadi told Pajhwok that the area would be changed by the project and wealthy people would be encouraged to invest in the town. The urban configuration will revolve around two-storey houses with three to five rooms each. The exact locations of the township as well as the individual price of the houses were not disclosed during the ceremony. The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the Polio Global Emergency Action Plan 2012-2013 which focuses in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the last three remaining polio-endemic countries in the world. In these countries, polio cases rose sharply between 2010 and 2011. In Afghanistan, the number of polio cases increased by 220% between 2010 and 2011. The WHOs Emergency Action Plan (EAP) aims to promote immunisation by: (i) overcoming problems accessing children in insecure areas; (ii) improving polio eradication management and accountability; and (iii) enhancing communication and awareness-raising efforts concerning polio eradication.

Recent Readings & Resources Afghanistan: Pathways to Peace. New Directions for Inclusive Peace in Afghanistan, Peacebuild and CARE, June 2012. Polio Global Emergency Action Plan 2012-2013, World Health Organisation, June 2012. Quarterly Data Report. Q1 2012, Afghan NGO Safety Office, June 2012. Afghanistan: Time to Move to Sustainable Jobs. Study on the State of Employment in Afghanistan, International Labour Organisation, May 2012.

Afghanistan Events Agricultural Development for Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training. The United States Department of Agriculture (www.usda.gov) and a consortium of American universities deliver this training. The curriculum will meet the needs of all deploying United States Government personnel in support of the USG Agriculture Strategy in Afghanistan. The training is for United States Government personnel and will take place in Fresno, California on 18-23 June. Participants will be enrolled on a first come first serve basis. Contact Ryan Brewster, US Department of Agriculture, at ryan.brewster@fas.usda.gov for further information.

If you are a CFC account-holder and would like your event notice or publication to appear here, please send all relevant details to Afghanistan@cimicweb.org. The CFC is not obliged to print information regarding publications or events it receives, and the CFC retains the right to revise notices for clarity and appropriateness. Any notices submitted for publication in the Afghanistan Review newsletter should be relevant to Afghanistan and to the CFCs mission as a knowledge management and information sharing institution.

ENGAGE WITH US 12 June 2012

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