Jaghori district

Government to revoke local militia assigned to protect Jaghori

The government has decided to revoke a pro-government militia, known as People Uprising Force, in Jaghori district of Ghazni province, a local source told Kabul Now.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said on Monday, February 22, that the decision has been already announced to local authorities in Jaghori. The National Security Council and the National Directorate of Security (NDS) have said that the structure of the local militia will be revoked, due to lack of budget, the source said as referring to the decision of top security agencies.

In the previous years, the government armed and funded a total of 300 local men to protect the district against Taliban attacks.

The local government has opposed the decision. “Revoking this [people uprising] forces have negative consequences for Jaghori while the enemy is actively operating in its neighboring districts of Qarabagh, Moqur, Gillan districts of Ghazni, and in Khak-e-Afghan and Shahjoy districts of Zabul [provinces],” the source said.

On October 27, 2018, the Taliban launched a large-scale attack on Jaghori with more than 1,500 fighters briefly overrunning several villages of the district. At least 83 people, including security forces and civilians, were killed and 67 others were wounded in the Taliban attack. The Taliban attack on Jaghori provoked anger in Kabul and a number of Hazara activists rallied against the government and blamed the security agencies for inaction. Following the rally, the government dispatched a bunch of Afghan commandos to the district to repel the militants out of the district’s strategic areas. More than 30 commandos were killed in the subsequent battle between the Taliban and the government forces, according to local officials.

A total of 300 militiamen are currently stationed in their bases across Jaghori district and so far they have not been ordered by the National Security Council or the National Directorate of Security to withdraw from their bases, according to the source.

Harris Jobran, the NDS spokesperson, told Kabul Now, that the security agencies have made a decision to revoke the structure of the militiamen in Jaghori and as per the analysis of the security agencies the militiamen are no longer required to uphold their bases.

A unit of the NDS forces is currently stationed in Jaghori, the army commandos have stationed there as well, and the Territorial Army is in operation in the district, the NDS Spokesperson said. “There is not any security threat in the district.”

He underlined that the decision to revoke the People Uprising Force is not limited to Jaghori and the government will dissolve such structures in parts of the country.

Located in the southern Ghazni province, Jaghori is a secure district but it has come under repeated attacks by the Taliban from its neighboring districts in Ghazni and Zabul provinces.