Afghanistan — New Taliban Code of Conduct … Not Matching Reality on the Ground

KABUL, Afghanistan – Despite Mul­lah Omar’s lat­est attempts to shape per­cep­tions by releas­ing a revised code of con­duct, insur­gent vio­lence con­tin­ues to harm inno­cent civil­ians.

Released late July, this newest direc­tive from Mul­lah Omar calls for insur­gent fight­ers to avoid harm­ing civil­ians. How­ev­er, in just the few days since its release, insur­gents have killed 43 Afghan civil­ians and wound­ed 65. 

Many of these casu­al­ties, includ­ing five chil­dren killed in Kan­da­har Mon­day morn­ing, were vic­tims of sui­cide bombs. Oth­ers, includ­ing four killed and three wound­ed in Zab­ul province July 28, are vic­tims of IEDs, an indis­crim­i­nate killer com­mon­ly used by insurgents. 

Dur­ing this same time­frame, Tal­iban insur­gents threat­ened vil­lagers in Farah Province for report­ing loca­tions of impro­vised explo­sive devices to secu­ri­ty forces. In Balkh Province, insur­gents mur­dered a female teacher and forced the clos­ing of schools. And in Nan­ga­har Province, sev­en trib­al lead­ers were injured when their vehi­cles were struck by an insur­gent bomb as they trav­elled to a com­mu­ni­ty event in the area. 

“Mul­lah Omar’s new direc­tive has done noth­ing to pro­tect the Afghan peo­ple from fur­ther harm,” said Brigadier Gen­er­al Josef Blotz, ISAF spokesman. “This is either a smoke­screen to repair the Taliban’s well-earned rep­u­ta­tion for bru­tal­i­ty, or insur­gent groups are sim­ply ignor­ing their leader. In either event, the Afghan peo­ple will con­tin­ue to suf­fer from oppres­sion and indis­crim­i­nate vio­lence until the insur­gents are defeated.” 

The insur­gents have relent­less­ly and aggres­sive­ly harmed the Afghan peo­ple. In the month of July alone, near­ly 300 instances of insur­gent acts of vio­lence and oppres­sion against inno­cent civil­ians were doc­u­ment­ed, killing 220 and injur­ing more than 360. This includ­ed more than 160 events of mur­der and injury, and over 100 instances of oppres­sion, anti-devel­op­ment and impo­si­tion of extrem­ist ide­ol­o­gy – illic­it tax­a­tion includ­ing usurp­ing the role of reli­gious lead­ers in col­lect­ing “Zigat” or reli­gious tax, extor­tion, pro­hibit­ing girls from attend­ing school, and destruc­tion of con­struc­tion projects designed to bring basic ser­vices to Afghan villages. 

“Against the back­drop of the so-called Omar “code of con­duct,” these con­tin­u­ing malign actions reveal the hypocrisy of the Tal­iban,” Gen­er­al Blotz said. “They also demon­strate the Taliban’s mali­cious, non-rep­re­sen­ta­tive approach to governing. 

“In stark con­trast, Pres­i­dent Karzai’s gov­ern­ment is work­ing to build the Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces to pro­tect the Afghan peo­ple, while expand­ing gov­ern­ment ser­vices and indi­vid­ual rights.” 

Press release
Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releases 

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Team GlobDef

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