What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Friday, September 28, 2007

An Uruzgan spillover

MStFB Uruzgan Series update
From IRIN News, via the Uruzgan Weblog I got to some data on the intrastate spillover in southern Afghanistan. In this case I'm talking about refugees (Internally Displaced Persons, I mean), and that's the sort of issue no expert should securitise as though one would be desensitised. Nevertheless the burden of hundreds of families pouring into Kandahar does cause one security concerns. It's currently occurring from the direction of Helmand, and from the direction of Uruzgan. The latter has also seen quite a lot of fighting since June (covered on this site, too). Incidents are regularly reported from central Tarin Kowt district, Chora district has always been contested, Khas Uruzgan has also seen a number of attacks e.g. on FOB Anaconda located there, and recently the security situation has clearly worsened in southwestern Deh Rawod district as well. A Dutch soldier died last Thursday, on September 22, on a patrol that was ambushed by insurgents in the area, and the Dutch military is considering bringing in there reinforcements in order to cope with the situation (either courtesy of other NATO countries, or by themselves if need be). I wouldn't be surprised to learn if many of the families now arriving in Kandahar from Uruzgan would be from around Deh Rawod. Among the reasons cited for their fleeing is the Taliban's violence as well as the aerial bombing it is met by. So not very surprisingly these IDPs seem like textbook 4GW victims. Key excerpts:
"Thousands flee Taliban, aerial bombing in south
KANDAHAR, 27 September 2007 (IRIN) - Over 2,500 families have left their homes in different districts of insurgency-battered Helmand, Uruzgan and Kandahar provinces in southern Afghanistan over the past two months, provincial officials told IRIN on 27 September.
Many displaced civilians who have flocked into Kandahar city say they left their homes because Taliban insurgents tried to force them to join their ranks, feed and care for their wounded fighters and provide financial support for their campaign.
Hundreds of families have also been displaced because of intense aerial bombing by international forces in their bid to defeat Taliban rebels in the southern provinces, displaced people in Kandahar said."
About 590 families from Uruzgan Province and 1,500 from Helmand Province have recently come to over a dozen locations around Kandahar city," said Ahmad Shah Peerali, head of the rural rehabilitation and development department in Kandahar.
The head of Kandahar provincial council, Ahmad Wali Karzai, said hundreds of civilians had abandoned their homes and properties in Shah Walikot, Ghorak and Maiwand districts since August."
Because of the numerous demands that Taliban fighters make on civilians, about 750 families have moved to areas inside or close to the city [Kandahar]," Karzai said.
A purported Taliban spokesman, Qari Yusuf Ahamadi, however, denied the insurgents forced people to work for them: "It is only propaganda," Ahmadi said on the phone from an identified location."
"Kandahar Province is already home to thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who live in several camps, and the influx of new IDPs has put pressure on the limited humanitarian assistance currently being made available to hundreds of thousand of needy people in Kandahar Province, local authorities say."
"Either they [government and aid organisations] should help us here [in Kandahar] or the government should improve security in our areas in order for us to return," said Hayatullah, a displaced man from Uruzgan Province."

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