The Ministry of Defense has a plan on hand to mobilize the public forces otherwise known as ‘militia’ to maintain security in areas cleared of insurgents by the Afghan National Army, an official from the ministry said.
“People will be recruited from their areas, because they know their region and realize how to keep it,” the Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told TOLOnews on Friday. “The (public) forces will not go from one place to another. It is almost the same as the (Afghan) Local Police, but there is a big difference.”
The spokesman did not give the number of the public forces that will be established under the structure of the Defense Ministry. However, a foreign official has said the new plan is sketched by the US and that the number of the militia will reach to 20,000.
The New York Times meanwhile quoted an Afghan military official saying that 20,000 militia will be recruited under the new plan and will be managed by the Afghan Defense Ministry.
Addressing army soldiers in Paktia province, in the east, on Friday, President Ashraf Ghani also pointed out to the public forces – which would be formed under the Ministry of Defense – and said the public forces would play a significant role in ensuring the people’s safety.
“The local police are very successful in here than other places and this is because of you,” Ghani said.
This move comes after the US-funded Afghan Local Police have been accused of violation of human rights many times.
“When the rule of law is not secured, then what will happen to the citizenship rights? Anyone will use his gun to acquire what he wants. Then the power will take the place of rule of law,” university lecture Musa Fariwar said.
An Afghan National Army official meanwhile said one of the aims of forming the militia under the MoD is to prevent the illegal militia groups from gaining more power.
The new forces are forming at a time that Afghanistan has at least 20,000 local police who are busy in maintaining security in their areas across the country.