Friday, March 2, 2012
Former Taliban disillusioned with Afghan government program
A number of Afghans mired in poverty supported a government program that paid them to leave the insurgency but they are now returning according to reports. See this article.
The former supporters of the Taliban were promised payment and also a chance to train for jobs in return for leaving the Taliban. However, those who participated claim that the government broke promises and are disillusioned with the program. Some have returned to support the Taliban.
The Afghan Peace and Reconciliation Program was started in 2010 and is supposed to have helped wean a number of Afghans away from the insurgents. But as with many programs there is corruption and a failure to meet expectations.
Families claim they have not received promised benefits including a monthly stipend of 75 dollars for three months and job training.
The mother of a former insurgent says:"When we were living in the mountains, other fighters helped us," "They brought us food and provided us with shelter. Now we have been accepted back by the government, we don't have anything." , "The government hasn't paid any attention to us. We are very poor people. We have nothing. If we go back to the opponents of the government, maybe we will have a good life, a better life." If as much attention were paid to programs such as these as to the battle with the Taliban the NATO forces would probably be much better off.