News - Afghanistan


The Ministry of Interior Thursday acknowledged that a number of Afghan troops have deserted to join the Taliban in the past four months, but said this will have no impact on the morale of the country's security forces.

Desertion to the Taliban is regarded by some analysts to be a reaction to the impending withdrawal of the international forces led by the US.

However, the Ministry of Interior spokesman downplayed its impact in an interview with TOLOnews saying they were likely to be identified as Taliban sympathizers, and discharged.

"Consider its quantity – the Afghan National Police has a large quantity. Consider its power – today it has a demonstrable power. Most of the areas, 86 percent of Afghanistan, is secured by Afghan National Security Forces [ANSF]. So these ten, twenty, or thirty who have left for different reasons were those who would have been definitely identified and dismissed one day," Sediq Seddiqi said.

"Now that they have left by their own decision, it cannot have any effect over the morale, motivation, or strengthen the ranks of the opposition," he added.

His comments come after four Afghan police on Wednesday took a police vehicle, some weapons and joined insurgents in Nimroz.

Military analysts are disturbed by the rate of desertions – said to be as high as 25 percent per year – and more so the reports of Afghan troops joining insurgents.

"The region's intelligence agencies, and especially that of Pakistan, have been capable of placing its own people in the ranks of our security sectors. The reality of this issue is the lack of care taken by security sector itself," Amrullah Aman told TOLOnews.

"Wherever they [the security forces] send their people, there is no background checks, the salaries are not given on time, and they haven't been capable of providing them with necessary weapons and facilities to defend themselves, therefore they exchange their relations for the sake of survival," he added.

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